The less cooking you do in summer, the better, especially true when it comes to tomatoes, summer's sexpot that swings both ways - as fruit or vegetable. Sweet, with subtle acidity, unless you are going for sauce the trick is not to overcook them. The less you fuss with them the better, and while bruschetta and a perfect caprese are rites of passage in summer, it's great to stretch for new combinations.
"Look at this,” Ryan said as he sliced through the translucent skin of a huge heirloom Amana. The flesh of the yellow tomato glistened like it was oozing sunlight. He was cutting beautiful Kinsella Vineyard heirlooms for a quick salad, fanning them across the platter before reaching for a container of tiny jewel colored flowers from Early Birds Place - borage, Johnny jump-ups, bachelor buttons and marigolds. The shot had almost too much color in the frame - do I sound like I am complaining? I am not. It was a marriage made in heaven. We did not even dress the salad. It was that good.
Early and Myrna try and grow the flowers separately, important as we’ve found when grown as a ‘mix’ individual flavors tend to bland out. Edible flowers have a surprising diversity; there was a gentle bite to these, which played off the sweetness of the tomatoes, heightening the flavor of both ingredients.
For a tomato dish with a little heat, I shot the heirloom tomato soup that’s currently on the menu - which Ryan plated with a single, perfect lobster filled ravioli.
Pancho is our consummate ravioli guy whether the filling is a single egg yolk, lobster or spicy Preston lamb. He's just got the touch. His beautiful brown hands fly over the table as he rolls, stretches, and cuts, making each little bundle seal perfectly with the thinest carapace of pasta dough.
Our heirloom tomato soup has hints of garlic and sherry vinegar, nothing to mask the full bodied flavor of this incredible summer 'fruit.' Concentric circles of EVO and chive sour cream and that lobster ravioli with a few shavings of pecorino finish the dish.
God I love summer.