Tomatoes are glorious this year. They arrived earlier than many of us anticipated and they are lingering deliciously at their peak flavor. Tomorow, there’s one more chance to sample a wide range of heirloom varieties for free at the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market, the one in the southeast parking lot of the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts.
Have you found a favorite heirloom variety this year? If so, please tell us something about it in the comments section below.
This year, I’ve had three favorites, though at the moment I can only think of the names of two of them. Oops. I’ll get back to you on that one.
I discovered one of my other favorites just two days ago, at the Wednesday afternoon farmers market in Healdsburg. I stopped at Preston of Dry Creek’s to buy some of Lou Preston’s delicious sauerkraut when a gorgeous fruit caught my eye. At first I wasn’t sure if it was a tomato but as I looked my closely, yep, sure enough, I realized it was. It’s skin is two-toned, purple so dark in looks black and shiny deep red with hints of orange. It’s called Indigo Rose. I was warned that it was quite tart and probably best cooked so when I got home I immediately sliced one up and nibbled each slice slowly. Yum! There was a hint of tartness but not a lot, a silky texture and a tomatoey sweetness that was pleasingly subtle.
Preston attends the Healdsburg farmers market on Wednesday and Saturday and also sells produce at the winery tasting room.
My other favorite this year is the Garden Peach, a pale yellow tomato with the slightest rosy blush and skin that suggests the fuzz on a peach. It is sweet, silky, mildly acidic and absolutely delicious. I’m enjoying it with mozzarella fresca and burrata, on BLTs and chopped and tossed with olive oil and whole-wheat pasta. It’s really spectacular.
Nancy Skall of Middleton Farm is growing the Garden Peach this year. She attends farmers markets in St. Helena on Friday, Healdsburg on Saturday and Sebastopol on Sunday. If you track her down, leave a few for me, okay?