Friday, April 9, 2010

Tomatoes: Local, Seasonal, Perfect

Tomatoes are the most popular crop among vegetable gardeners. A vine-ripened tomato from the garden blows away a store bought tomato. Local seasonal Florida tomatoes grown in rich soil taste much better than tomatoes grown in depleted soil and shipped a long distance.


In the world of Botany the tomato is a fruit. Although most of us consider it a vegetable. Tomatoes are a staple ingredient in kitchens worldwide. I love tomatoes. There are so many varieties, shapes, sizes, and tastes that I find them delightful to cook with.

Florida tomatoes are mostly grown in South Florida. Right now we are in the peak months of production April and May. So I thought it appropriate to shine the spotlight on them.

There are numerous varieties of tomatoes grown in Florida such as Cherry, Grape, Green, Cherokee Purple, Plum, Heirloom and the colorful Tangerine Tomato, just to name a few. Many of these varieties were at my local farmers market today and found their way into my salad.

Drunken Goat Cheese of Murcia is a Spanish goat cheese that is dunked in red wine for two to three days. The rind takes on a wonderful purple color while the flavor of the red wine impregnates the cheese. This cheese has a mild nutty taste. I enhanced the nuttiness…my lovely wife says there’s much nuttiness emanating from my kitchen these days…by topping the cheese with finely grated walnuts.

Finish the salad off with a tangy Pedro Ximenez Vinagreta and a chiffonade of arugula. Local, seasonal, organic, simple tasty fare at it’s finest.

Vinagreta Pedro Ximenez:
2 tbs Pedro Ximenez (Spanish sherry vinegar)
4 tbs avocado oil
1 tbs organic honey
Pinch sea salt
Pinch black pepper

That's it for now...till we exchange a few words again...Peace!

45 comments:

  1. Beautiful dish! It looks so refreshing. I've never heard of avocado oil though. What does it taste like?

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  2. Kitchen Masochist...It tastes rich, nutty...like a dream. It is expensive but worth every penny. Thanks for commenting.

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  3. I do love tomatoes!! It looks so fresh, and I love your vinaigrette recipe!! But Jersey Tomatoes are the Best!! This from a Native Texan....lol
    Have a great weekend!

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  4. Chef Dennis...Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I am a big fan of New Jersey beefsteak tomatoes good stuff.

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  5. This looks amazing. I love your presentation! I just ate a whole bowl of orange cherry tomatoes and it was the best!

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  6. These tomatoes definitely look great!

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  7. Lady Ren...Thank you for stopping by. Cherry tomatoes are fabulous.

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  8. Cooking Rookie...They are. Right now we're in the peak of the Florida tomato season so they are perfect. Thank you for stopping by.

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  9. We get some flavorful heirloom tomatoes in MN in the summer. It's become a traditional lunch for my husband and me after a Saturday morning trip to the farmer's market: heirloom tomatoes, farmer's cheese and fresh baguette. It is always the simplest things that bring enormous joy.
    Cheers!

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  10. Natasha...Could not agree more. A trip to the farmer's market is always a good time out. Fresh simple seasonal ingredients. Simple is best. Thank you for stopping by.

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  11. Thanks for your visit and inspiring comment.I am glad to find a new foodie friend!
    Tomatoes always add color to a dish, thanks for sharing this lovely salad and all the info about this unknown fruit yet a known vegetable!
    God Bless.

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  12. Lovely salad, when you have top ingredients you don't need much cover up!

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  13. So healthy and delicious.
    Great recipe x

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  14. Yay!!! It's tomato season!!!! Other than the fact that I am a terrible gardener, I kill everything, I can make a mean salad! I'm so glad you came by my site. I'm looking forward to coming back here often!

    Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner
    www.mawhats4dinner.com

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  15. OH and I can't wait to try and get my hands on some of that drunken goat cheese! I've seen it at whole foods. Two of my favorite things, cheese and wine!

    Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner
    www.mawhats4dinner.com

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  16. AS soon as the weather allows I will be getting my tomatoes in. I still a month away here in Michigan.

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  17. alwayswinner786...With pleasure. Making new friends is what this is all about. Glad you came by. Cheers!

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  18. Silvia...My thoughts exactly. Simple dishes shines when you have great ingredients. Have a wonderful weekend my friend.

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  19. Ana Powell...Thank you for coming by. Simple seasonal perfect. Florida tomatoes right now are at their peak.

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  20. Ma What's 4 dinner...I would strongly advise you pick up some Drunken Goat cheese. Whole foods does carry it. Thank you for the kind words.

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  21. Ed Schenk...Good luck with the tomatoes. I'm sure when they hit your kitchen they will be ready to go and amazing. Thank your for stopping by and commenting.

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  22. Well Laz,
    All I can say is YUM!!!! So glad to meet a new sparkly friend:)
    Sparkly Hugs,
    Tobi and the Pixies!

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  23. Tobi...Anyone who comes out the chute calling me Laz...is a friend indeed. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

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  24. Hi Lazaro !!!!

    I loved these tomatoes and all your explanations!!Your enthusiasm is catching...and then, I read your words in "about me" and I share completely your philosophy...ten cooks can be make the same recipe, but we will all get different results, because our spirit, our artistic conception of the dish goes into it...if you love cooking...All my heart and soul goes into the conception, realisation and presentation of my dishes...and I think the world notices !
    Thanks for commenting in my blog! Good luck!

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  25. Thank you so much for visiting my blog. WOW! this post is perfect for celebrating April as Fresh Florida Tomato Month!

    Thank you so much for sharing...

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  26. fromBAtoParis...Thank you for commenting. In my estimation cooking is a philosophy, a way of life. An opportuniy to create and honestly express the self. Have a great weekend. Cheers!

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  27. ~~louise~~...Thank you for sharing your wonderful blog with us.

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  28. I love tomatoes especially fresh and of the vine. I can't wait for summer to pick my little cherry tomatoes - the nature candy.

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  29. Ms Bibi...Thank you for commenting. Fresh off the vine is divine.

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  30. Wonderful dish! Wow- you are awesome and so glad you stoppe dby my blog so I could stop by yours! I am following you now! Hope you have a great weekend and look forward to seeing more of your recipes!

    http://kitchenbelleicious.blogspot.com

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  31. I love fresh tomato salads. This one sounds incredible! I've never heard of this cheese. I cant wait to try it!

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  32. I live in Florida as well and the tomatoes are divine right now! I usually just do a simple vinaigrette, but now am anxious to try your dressing!

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  33. These tomatoes look beautiful. I am so looking forward to summer and tomatoes! Thanks for stopping by my blog!!!

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  34. I can't wait for tomato season here in MA! That recipe is perfect.

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  35. Kitchen Belleicious...Thank you for stopping by. Look forward to more of your posts. Very kind.

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  36. Kathleen...The cheese is wonderful I strongly recommend it. They sell it in Whole Foods. It's called the Drunken Goat Cheese.

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  37. Barbara...Great to meet a fellow South Florida foodie. Thank you for commenting.

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  38. Julie...Thank you for stopping by. Pleasure to meet you.

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  39. Travel Eat Love...Thank you for stopping by and commenting. In season tomatoes are perfect.

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  40. Its not quite tomato season here in New York, but when it is and they come right off the vine...there is nothing I love more than making bruschetta with the fresh tomatoes...just some red onion and fresh basil to compliment it and it is like eating all the good juiciness of summertime! Thanks for stopping by...it is nice to "meet" you and I loved visiting here today and learning something new!!!

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  41. Chef Aimee...Thank you for the kind words. Your bruschetta idea sounds delightful. I'll take some. It was a pleasure to meet you.

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  42. My kind of dish! This looks amazing! As it's fall here, this is a devastating reminder of how much I am going to miss my tomato plants. I have yet to buy a tomato that compares the ones grown about 30 feet from kitchen.

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  43. Lazaro, what a fabulous salad you've created. I love, no j'adore tomatoes, especially the Cherokee Purple which we grow at home in the mountains. It's one of the most gorgeous of your bunch. How lucky to find them at your farmers market.

    I also make a similar vinaigrette and really like Spanish sherry vinegar too. My big question - where do I find that drunken goat cheese? I've never seen it at Publix.

    Thanks for stopping by my kitchen and saying hello. I'm having a great time looking around at your great blog. So many good things to sample here.
    Sam

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  44. Lazaro, thank you for visiting my blog! This tomato salad looks so delicious - I love the sound of the cheese too!

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  45. Just lovely. Our tomato season is really in August, but by growing my own grape and pear tomatoes over the summer, I get to pick them right off the vine for a snack. I love that!

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