What is Up With Those Crazy Looking Tomatoes?
You have to admit the first time you saw an heirloom tomato you thought man those are crazy looking tomatoes! According to Tomatofest.com an heirloom tomato that we buy in the grocery store is considered a, Commercial Heirlooms: Open-pollinated varieties introduced before 1940, or tomato varieties more than 50 years in circulation. The better question is why buy these perfectly round, perfectly red hybridized tomatoes? As I learn more about the heirloom tomato the more I want to buy them. On the same website Tomatofest.com I read this…
“In the past 40 years, we’ve lost many of our heirloom varieties, along with the many smaller family farms that supported heirlooms. The multitude of heirlooms that had adapted to survive well for hundreds of years were lost or replaced by fewer hybrid tomatoes, bred for their commercially attractive characteristics. In the process we have also lost much of the ownership of foods typically grown by family gardeners and small farms, and we are loosing the genetic diversity at an accelerating and alarming rate.
Every heirloom variety is genetically unique and inherent in this uniqueness is an evolved resistance to pests and diseases and an adaptation to specific growing conditions and climates. With the reduction in genetic diversity, food production is drastically at risk from plant epidemics and infestation by pests. Call this genetic erosion.
The late Jack Harlan, world-renowned plant collector who wrote the classic Crops and Man while Professor of Plant Genetics at University of Illinois at Urbana, wrote this, “These resources stand between us and catastrophic starvation on a scale we cannot imagine. In a very real sense, the future of the human race rides on these materials. The line between abundance and disaster is becoming thinner and thinner, and the public is unaware and unconcerned. Must we wait for disaster to be real before we are heard? Will people listen only after it is too late.”
It is up to us as gardeners and responsible stewards of the earth to assure that we sustain the diversity afforded us through heirloom varieties.”
I think it is time for me to buy a copy of the book Crops and Man, by Jack Harlan! Imagine being environmentally sustainable by eating delicious food!
Tzatziki and Tomatoes
Tzatziki is a Mediterranean sauce made with stranded yogurt and cucumber. I believe it is the perfect sauce. As a Texas girl I ditched the Ranch Dressing for this yummy tangy sauce. I love the depth of flavor and real food goodness. I use a probiotic rich grass fed yogurt to make the recipe below. When I whip up a batch of my own I know I am getting a real food that is great for me and my gut! Try making your own batch of fresh Tzatziki and slice some fresh heirloom tomatoes for dipping as a great snack! I love tomatoes and basil but the Tzatziki is even better! Report back in the comments below and let me know what you think about this yummy combination!
Stuffed Heirloom Tomatoes with Tzatziki
2 cups cooked quinoa (equals 1 cup uncooked)
1 cup cooked green peas (organic frozen works great)
1 tbs coconut oil
2 cups mushrooms
4 ripe heirloom tomatoes
½ tsp sea salt
½ cup plain grass fed yogurt
½ cup finely diced cucumber
¼ cup finely chopped dill, plus a bit for garnish
1 tbs finely chopped mint
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tbs olive oil
¼ tsp ground dill seed
1 tsp sea salt
¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper
In a medium skillet heat coconut oil, add mushrooms and cook until soft and browned, about 8 minutes. Turn off heat, add cooked peas and quinoa to skillet. Remove from heat and set aside. Cut the top ½ inch off the tomatoes; scoop out seeds and inside to create a bowl. Season inside with salt and set aside.
To make tzatziki combine yogurt, cucumber, dill, mint, lemon juice, olive oil and dill seed in a large bowl. Add salt and pepper and stir.
Assemble Stuffed Tomatoes: fold quinoa mixture into the tzatziki. Spoon mixture into each tomato “bowl”. Garnish with dill and serve.