Cool, ripe heirlooms. Warm, crisp pole beans. Put them together on the same plate and it can only mean one thing. The end of summer. Not the calendar end of summer. That’s too specific. The real end of each season is marked by the produce we find at our Farmers’ Markets. Spring ends when I can no longer find peas in their pod. Same goes for summer – mostly. Because summertime favorites like heirloom tomatoes and pole beans stretch the summer season into the cooler months, and I take every opportunity to use them while the sun still shines brightly.
In fact, I find myself sneaking heirloom tomatoes into all kinds of recipes. This is the time of year when buying supermarket tomatoes seems criminal. So today I don’t really have a recipe I have a trick. When it comes to heirloom tomatoes – with their funky shapes, profiles, and varying tastes, from acidic to sweet – I sneak them in wherever I can. I’ll often take a beloved recipe and simply add heirloom tomatoes. Suddenly a simple side dish such as Charred Pole Beans with Fistfuls of Basil becomes a meal. GREG