Monday, August 04, 2008

Tomato Fest with a Recipe for Great Panzanella

Under the heading of "more ways to torture your family on a weekend," add a trip to Tomato Fest. Brutal heat advisory, but at least the event did not start until evening, and there was a breeze. It's full-on tomato season here, sorry Rachel!

The event featured an heirloom tomato tasting, some local chefs preparing tomato dishes including the best bloody mary (FRESH tomato juice) I have ever had, tomato soup with bruschetta and goat cheese, and this incredible Panzanella salad that I duplicated the next day at home. Recipe is at the bottom of this post.

I finished the weekend with my own Tomato Fest with 15 lbs. of heirlooms on hand, making the salad, a batch of Ratatouille, and fresh spaghetti sauce, and homemade salsa all on Sunday. I still have 2 lbs. of cherry tomatoes to prepare somehow.

These are hoop houses. Using these tents allow the farmers to extend the growing season here. For us, it means tomatoes in June through November, instead of just July-September.

The houses contain also peppers, raspberries, squash and other crops.

Panzanella Salad
Looking for this recipe? It will be part of an upcoming book with Ali at Cleaner Plate Club.

Yes, these are vineyards ... Nice view for the Midwest.


katiez said...

I would brave the heat for a tomato tasting... Could you work that in before the lamb and cheese?

Rachel said...

those look fantastic. I've controlled my envy and am now just looking forward to my tomato season! ;-)

I saw an awesome Jamie Oliver episode when he made a bloody mary from fresh tomatoes - pulped up a bunch inside some cheesecloth, let the liquid leech out into a bowl in the fridge for a lot of hours, and then added fresh horseradish and vodka. It looked awesome - the liquid was a pale blush pink. I'm dying to try that this summer!

Expatriate Chef said...

this post is entered in the recipe carnival for the week hosted at Got a Little Space to Fill.

Nicole said...

I stumbled upon your blog as I was looking for a panzanella recipe to use the excess tomatoes from my garden. This one hit the spot! It was uniquely delicious. Thanks for sharing.

Nate-n-Annie said...

I was looking on Food Blog Search to see if any other food bloggers had gone to the TomatoFest in Carmel Valley, CA, and came upon your site.

Which TomatoFest was this?

The panzanella sounds delicious.

Chef Tom said...

This recipe sounds amazing. I'm saving this for my garden next summer. I planted heirloom tomatoes this year and had poor results. Better luck next year !

Gaskets said...

I have a garden of tomatoes and it is a shame that they just decay there! This recipe might make my time worthwhile. Thanks.

online training said...

TOMATOES! I put them on my face..I put them on salads, I have them in my garden - everywhere.