Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sungold City

Once upon a time I didn't appreciate the variations in vegetable flavor provided by different varieties.  I knew different types of tomato provided different textures, and cherry tomatoes were generally the sweetest.  But over the last few years, as I've tried a variety of tomato plants in the MKG, I've found a whole world of flavor open up to me.  The purple tomatoes have a depth to their taste, sometimes described as smokey.  The big red tomatoes of burger-topping-style tend to be more acidic.  And the yellow and orange tomatoes are just plain sweet.

All of these different flavors have a certain place in cooking and eating, and I appreciate them all.  But nothing compares to the Sungold cherry tomato.  If you read this blog, I assume you have already heard the virtues of the Sungold cherry tomato extolled at length in other blogs and magazines etc.  Suffice it to say that they are stunningly sweet, like tomato-flavored candy, and the most lovely shade of warm orange, the kind of color that looks like summer.  I would recommend anyone interested in growing tomatoes plant a Sungold cherry, and if you don't have one at home, pick them up whenever they appear at the farmer's market.  Seriously.

Sungolds are great for a ton of different recipes.  I often eat them fresh off the vines or as a snack whenever I walk through the kitchen (a bowl of them graces the counter all season).  I also love making this amazing dish from Make Grow Gather.  Roasted sungolds and basil oil, drizzled over burrata.  Mmmmmm.  If it's not too hot to turn the oven on, this recipe is a guaranteed winner.  But if it's still a little warm out, and you want a quick recipe to savor those sungolds in, give this Sungold Caprese Salad a try.  It makes a great snack all summer long and is a perfect salad to mix up in a mason jar and tote to a picnic (along with a batch of zucchini carpaccio).

Sungold Caprese Salad
Adapted from everywhere- it's a Caprese salad folks.
Serves 4-8

2 pints Sungold cherry tomatoes
1 10 oz. container bocconcini mozzarella, drained
1 handful basil, sliced into ribbons or torn into chunks
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper

1. Put Sungolds, bocconcini, and slivered basil into a salad bowl (or large Mason jar).

2. Assemble vinaigrette: put olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper in a jar.  Cover and shake until well-mixed.

3. Pour dressing into salad bowl.  Toss and serve.


If you want, you could always cut the bocconcini in half to make smaller bites, but that just takes longer, doesn't it?
Also, you could marinade the bocconcini in the dressing to impart more of the oil/vinegar flavor, if that's what you're into.

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