That's how much this incredibly colorful 15-20 lb haul of heirloom tomatoes, eggplant, peppers and cucumbers was when we visited Wild Boar Tomato Farm this past weekend. In. Sane.
That's the beauty of going TO the farm. Even better than a farmers' market or a CSA box. You cut out any middle man and get Chez Panisse and Michael Pollan worthy produce for pennies!
Brad Gates and his Wild Boar Tomato Farm (so named because of the wild boar that come around occasionally) have been garnering quite the collection of accolades. Besides being lauded by the mother of Local, Seasonal and Organic cuisine, Alice Waters, and the champion of Eating Real Food, Mr. Pollan, they have been showcased on Martha Stewart's show as well as various documentary films.
Seriously, look at localharvest.org, find a farm near you and Go to It! Any farm that grows food, at least once. You'll be surprised how your family comes to life when they are away from TVs and video games. Kids really love nature given the opportunity to experience it.
The four of us got to go hang out there with the rows of heirloom veggies (note the sign behind Kyle...Baker Creek Seeds Heirloom Demo Garden) and come home with this beautiful and tasty load.
For $10!! (Yes, I said it again!)
Anyway, I couldn't wait to photograph them so we could dig in. They were so juicy and ripe, that many of the tiny tomatoes split. No worries. They just became an easy pasta sauce after they baked with olive oil, salt and garlic. The remaining tomatoes were doled out over the week for a tomato salad, a fresh garnish for pasta carbonara one night, and a super colorful pico di gallo for an easy black bean soup (recipe to come). And the last few have been saved for my hubs' favorite summer meal of all time!
If you haven't heard of piadinis, it's sort of like a pizza or flatbread with a salad on top. You fold it like a taco...
I made my pizza dough, just to save money, using the Lighter Whole Wheat recipe from Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day by Zoe Francois and Jeff Hertzberg adding rosemary. Many grocery stores have pizza dough for $1.50 or less per lb which will make 2-3 9" pizza crusts. This is the next best thing, but using the recipe from this book, you can make enough pizza dough to make 8-10 9" crusts.
2 lb pizza dough
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (yes, fresh...dried really won't taste the same)
1 lb heirloom tomatoes
1/2 cup olive oil (plus some for rolling dough)
4 oz bacon, cooked until crisp, reserve 1 tbsp fat after cooking
6 cups arugula or mixed greens
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat grill to high. Or heat a baking stone or two in the oven at 475 degrees.. (Cookie sheet works in a pinch as a sub for the baking stone.)
Divide the pizza dough into tennis ball sized pieces. Coat them in olive oil on a large cookie sheet (no matter what cooking method you're using) and set aside to rest.
In the meantime, mix the mayonnaise with the fresh basil, a big pinch of salt and a lot of freshly ground pepper.
Cut the tomatoes into bite sized pieces and stir in olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
Forming one crust at a time, press and pull into a 9" free-form circle that is no more than 1/4" thick (does not have to be perfect!) If the dough is hard to work into a circle, let it rest for a bit and start with another one. Keep working them in rotation if you have to. We got into a groove after I formed three and we got the first two on the grill. You can use a clean counter top to form the crusts if you want to form all of them at one time.
For grilling, transfer a crust to the grill and cook for about a minute or until it releases easily using tongs and/or a long spatula. Flip it and cook for another minute or so until the dough is done all the way through and has grill marks.
For baking, place as many crusts as you can fit at a time with a little room for rising. Let them bake until cooked all the way through.
Spread each crust with the basil mayo, then top with arugula, bacon and marinated tomatoes. Drizzle with a very small amount of balsamic vinegar and serve.
Print Page Copyright 2012 Christi Flaherty, Cook What You've Got