Monday, August 24, 2009

Heirloom Tomatoes

Hillbilly Heirloom Tomato, originally uploaded by Lynn_EL/UnaOdd.

I love growing (and eating!) tomatoes. My favorite way is sliced, still warm from the sun. Toast your bread, a little mayo, salt, pepper and a sprinkle of chipotle. Tonight we're having a salad of sliced tomatoes, basil from the garden, local goat cheese, salt, pepper, and a dash of balsamic vinegar.

My favorite varieties are all heirlooms. Over the years I've grown Brandywine, Black Krim, Garden Peach, White Wonder, Great White, Oxheart, Striped Roman, Green Zebra, Eva's Purple Ball, Giant Belgium, Sausage, Hillbilly, Omar's Lebanese, Mortgage Lifter, Flame, Persimmon, Costoluto Genovese, Jaune Flammee, Anna Russian, Burgundy Plum, Mr. Stripey, Cuor di Bue, and Yellow Pear.

Some were wonderful...Brandywine, Black Krim.

Some were quirky and fun...Green Zebra (green when ripe, with lovely bronzey stripes) -also tasty, Garden Peach -actually fuzzy, looks like an apricot!

Some were disappointments...white and yellow tomatoes -just bland!.

Every year my stand out favorite has been Hillbilly. It's a large, indeterminate, beefsteak variety. Every year I am knocked over by the beautiful patterning of the fruit and am rewarded with the delicious large slices.

It hasn't been a good garden year for tomatoes. We had a long, cool, soaking-wet spring. The hot weather plants are now just starting to jump and produce, so I was quite excited to find Hillbilly starting to ripen. I think this will be the tomato in our salad tonight! .........and maybe my lunch sandwich as well. :^)


  1. Oh, how I love tomatoes fresh from the garden! I didn't even bother trying to plant this year - the weather was so crazy. I do regret it right this second seeing your gorgeous photo. :(

  2. you have just described on of my favorite treats as well! and I have a bowl of wee fresh cherry tomatoes on my counter that are like eating candy ~ delicious! Your photo is wonderful

  3. Whooooaaa, that's a tomato??? You must have the greenest of thumbs! I concur: I love growing our own (and other veggies too). Wrapped in fresh basil, or with bocconcini & balsamic vinegar. Deeelish. You are the tomato queen, I say!


  4. Since you like Brandywine I suggest you try Pruden's Purple, an heirloom, and Burpee Super Tasty (also know as OG 50 from Organic Gardening Magazine). Both big beefsteaks, with Pruden's Purple very similar in taste to Brandywine but much more productive.