How many tomatoes can one girl eat? A lot.
Especially when there are so many farm stands and festivals to visit.
On Saturday, it was the Heirloom Tomato Festival in Scottdale, Pennsylvania. On Sunday, it was the Sustainable Feast, sponsored by the Rachel Carson Homestead, on the Ninth Street Bridge in Pittsburgh. Today, it was my kitchen, loaded with tomatoes from Harvest Valley Farm in Valencia. My first visit to the Heirloom Tomato Festival, on the grounds of the West Overton Museum will not be my last. For me, the best part was the tasting table. Many types of tomatoes that I have never seen before. Heaven on a plate.
Cooking demos, crafters and museum-ish folks like a blacksmith were also a part of the festival. My overflowing dish of tomatoes got the pump primed for more, so I came home and made a yellow tomato gazpacho, one of the recipes from Chef Matt Finarelli’s cooking class at LIFeSTYLE in Bedford last week. Then on Sunday it was time for the enviro-fest in downtown Pittsburgh. The cost of admission included some generous sized samples of cutting edge cuisine ( like tiny red sorrel leaves on top of a wild mushroom mousse of some sort from the soon to open Salt of the Earth.) My favorite tomato-y dish was an heirloom tomato salad with little bits of black pepper bacon, tiny croutons and creamy light green pesto aioli from Corporate Chef Bill Fuller, of the big Burrito group. The basil scented aioli was as good as it gets. After we came home, I ate two more tomatoes from my kitchen counter. And today, my plum and yellow love apples (I’m getting tired of typing tomato) were just at that point where they neded to be eaten .. .today . . . right now . . . so I sliced them up and had them as an afternoon snack. By dinnertime, the fresh tomatoes were gone, but not forgotten. But have no fear, I always have a spare jar of Stepped in What? tomato sauce in my pantry. Canned in the Brandywine Valley, this sauce has just the right amount of herbs and garlic. Tossed some in with a bit of sauteed zucchini .. and I’ll call it a (tomato) day.