heirloom tomatoes

Get your Tomatoes, Red Ripe Tomatoes!!!

And so another year has come and gone. This year for my birthday, the gang headed over to Garibaldi’s in San Francisco’s Presidio Heights neighborhood for a little up-scale fare. At Garibaldi’s they had a watermelon and tomato salad on the menu that everyone wanted to taste. Now I have to tell you I’m a HUGE watermelon fan, more like a fanatic but not into raw tomatoes at all, just do something, anything to a tomato and I’ll most likely gobble it down.  This salad actually rocked, the watermelon was so ripe and the tomato was a nice compliment to the dish as a whole. I liked it so much I went home and scoured the internet for a recipe that was similar. I found it on Epicurious.com and have posted it here for you, enjoy!  Ingredients:

    8 cups 1-1/4-inch chunks seedless watermelon (about 6 pounds)

    3 pounds ripe tomatoes (preferably heirloom) in assorted colors, cored, cut into 1-1/4-inch chunks (about 6 cups)

    1 teaspoon (or more) fleur de sel or coarse kosher salt

    5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

    1-1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

    3 tablespoons chopped assorted fresh herbs (such as dill, basil, and mint)

    6 cups fresh arugula leaves or small watercress sprigs

    1 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 5 ounces)

    1/2 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted Preparation:

Combine melon and tomatoes in large bowl. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon fleur de sel and toss to blend; let stand 15 minutes. Add 4 tablespoons oil, vinegar, and herbs to melon mixture. Season to taste with pepper and more salt, if desired.

Toss arugula in medium bowl with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Divide arugula among plates. Top with melon salad; sprinkle with feta cheese and toasted almonds and serve.

The Last Supper

One of the great things about living in San Francisco is the amazing variety of locally grown, organic produce that is readily available in the farmer’s markets throughout the city.  Since I was scheduled to prepare the next staff lunch, I decided to buy as many ingredients as I could at my local farmer’s market and see what I could come up with.  One of my favorite summertime soups is a variation of gazpacho called Bloody Mary Soup.  It’s really only worth making when tomatoes, cucumbers and bell peppers are really fresh and I lucked out on my shopping exposition, especially with the heirloom tomatoes.  Then I thought to myself, what better than fish tacos to round out the menu?  I used fresh corn tortillas, with a white bean & thyme mash, pan fried tilapia, purple cabbage slaw, green salsa and cojito cheese.

Little did I know that when I was preparing this lunch that it would be our last for awhile.  We voted as a team to take a break from preparing Monday lunch. Knowing this group, preparing and sharing food will probably continue in one shape or another.