To say I can become fixated on a certain item enough to call it an obsession would be an understatement. It’s a habit I’ve tried breaking numerous times in the past, but my brain and personality seems to function in this manner. I can’t think of a better example than heirlooms. Yes, I’ve written about them before, I’ve enjoyed them to the point of exhaustion lately, but I just can’t get enough. Is it before I know in a month they will all be gone? Is it my brain’s way of telling me to suck in as many of these tender beauties as I can so that mid March I can fondly remember what a real tomato tastes like? I wish I knew. But every time I’m at the market I can’t help gravitate towards the baskets and displays of the gorgeous crimson, lime, pink and yellow orbs. It’s as if nothing else exists right now.
It’s obvious my other half is on the verge of tomato fatigue. I’m not there yet myself, but if I time it just right it will happen when the last of the summer’s best heirloom tomatoes start dwindling in.
Lately I’ve been cooking from The Heirloom Tomato Cookbook by Mimi Luebbermann. Although my preference is towards heirlooms in their raw, natural state I was curious to see what else could be done with them. These recipes are fantastic, never taking the tomato too far and always remaining true to its delicious flavor profile.
Heirloom Tomato Sorbet
From The Heirloom Tomato Cookbook
This recipe for Heirloom Tomato Sorbet is so simple and easy, perfect for those heirlooms that have become a bit dinged up in transit or have become overripe and weepy. Next time around I will probably add half the amount of sugar so that the sorbet could be more in the middle of savory & sweet–right now it’s just plain sweet!
2 lbs heirloom tomatoes, peeled and seeded
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup Cabernet Sauvignon (optional)
In a blender, pureé the tomatoes until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve.
In a nonreactive saucepan, combine the water, sugar, and salt. Stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the tomato pureé, vinegar, pepper, and wine, if using. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. Makes 1 quart.