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Attack of the Heirloom Tomato!

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Blog Post August 2012
Photo by Tim Hussey

TOMATOES AS THE STAR IN YOUR NEXT SUMMER SALAD

Heirloom tomatoes are making a resurgence. Thankfully, they taste nothing like what you buy on the supermarket shelves. They are packed with flavors and vitamins that you just can’t find in the overly processed stores. Now is the time to get to know your local farmer and make very good friends with him—he has the best stuff. In our most recent issue we visited with South Carolina farmers and learned about many varieties of this delicious fruit. Whether you use Brandywine, Striped German, Purple Cherokee, or one of the countless other strains, your dishes will certainly get a lift.

Chef Hugh Acheson created this essential summer salad for us. It has the sweetness of summer corn, the acidity of the tomato, and the freshness of the garden basil. The honey-shallot vinaigrette is an excellent complement and can easily find its way on to your other salads.

Before you gather your ingredients, take note of this handy guide to buying your summer heirloom tomatoes

RED / Higher in acid with a sharper bite
YELLOW / Highest in sugar making them the sweetest
PINKS / Blends the acid from the red and sweetness from the yellow
PURPLE / Sweet with an earthy flavor
GREEN / Firm, dry, and sour in taste

Corn, Tomato, and Basil Salad with Shallot-Thyme Vinaigrette
from by Chef Hugh Acheson, Owner and Chef of Five & Ten in Athens, GA