There’s nothing that says summer quite like a garden-grown tomato. Subtly sweet and juicy with just a hint of acidity, tomatoes seem to be a part of every plate throughout the season.
In my garden, I grow organic heirloom tomatoes. Heirlooms have been pollinated openly by wind and bees. Unlike hybrid varieties, they grow from seed and have been cultivated for more than 50 years. They’re true-breeding plants, which means that every generation of an heirloom tomato has all the same characteristics of the original parent plant. It’s one of the reasons many people say heirloom tomatoes taste like the tomatoes they used to eat when they were young.
The flavour varies greatly between different varieties of heirloom tomatoes. Below are a few of the most common and some of my all-time favourites.
This classic tomato dates all the way back to the 1800s. It’s large with a red to purple flesh that’s juicy and super sweet. It’s often considered one of the best-tasting tomatoes around.
A newer variety, the green zebra is a small round yellow heirloom with bold green stripes and dark green flesh. The flavour is a touch more tart than other varieties making it a beautiful option for a bright summer salad.
This bright red Italian heirloom has a distinctive ribbed appearance and a deep tomato flavour that works well in a fresh sauce.
These bright yellow cherry tomatoes are a burst of sunshine. Sweet and full flavoured, they make the perfect snack just as they are.
Taste the beauty of these juicy gems in this Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Salad with Pepper-Crusted New York Steak.