Heirloom tomatoes from Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden
Left to right: Eva Purple Ball, Aunt Ruby’s German Green and Golden Queen USDA
Yes, the Aunt Ruby’s German green tomato is ready to eat, it will not turn red or yellow or any other color.
So how can you tell when a green tomato is ready?
Press lightly on the blossom end, if it is soft to the touch, the green tomato is ready. That simple.
We, the volunteers, each got to take home some of the harvested tomatoes.
Looking at the beautiful sun ripened tomatoes sitting on my kitchen counter, I wondered, what should I make?
Remembering I have, in the freezer, cooked pasta (yes, cooked al dente pasta freezes well) and ground sesame seeds (when I ground toasted sesame seeds I always make extra for the freezer), why not make a Sesame Pasta with Heirloom Tomatoes.
I do have all the needed ingredients in the house (just need to quick thaw the pasta in the microwave) and there is Chinese parsley (cilantro) and scallion in the garden. No need to go to the store and no need to use the stove. I also have baked chicken in the fridge that would go perfectly with this, life is easy.
This pasta dish is easy to prepare and can be done ahead of time. It will surely be a hit at the Labor Day cookout table.
Sesame Pasta with Heirloom Tomatoes
Adapted from “Wokking Your Way to Low Fat Cooking“ by Norma Chang
4 tablespoons toasted white sesame seeds grounded (see NOTE 1)
2 – 3 tablespoons unflavored rice vinegar or to taste
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 – 2 teaspoons Asian chili sauce or to taste, optional
1 – 2 cloves garlic, puréed
¼ – ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
Combine all the above in a bowl. Mix to dissolve sugar and to blend in ground sesame seeds, adding water, if needed, to reach the consistency of heavy cream. This is the dressing. Can be done the day before and kept refrigerated.
½ – ¾ pound pasta of choice, parboil per package directions, drain, transfer to a sheet pan or rimmed cookie sheet, toss with 2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil. Spread to cool. (I chose campanelle because I like how each looks like a flower.)
1 red heirloom tomato, cut into wedges (see NOTE 2)
1 green heirloom tomato, cut into wedges (leave out if unavailable)
1 yellow heirloom tomato, cut into wedges (see NOTE 2)
2 – 4 tablespoons coarsely chopped Chinese parsley (cilantro), optional
1 – 2 scallions, clean and slant cut into thin slices
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds for garnish
Toss pasta with most of the dressing. Taste, add remaining dressing if needed. Gently mix in tomatoes and Chinese parsley, if using. Arrange on serving platter, garnish with scallion and sesame seeds. Serve cold or at room temperature. Can be done ahead of time.
Add: Sliced grilled chicken or cooked meat of choice, now you have a complete meal.
Substitute: Avocado, fresh pineapple, carrots, red onion, celery ….. for the heirloom tomatoes.
The coffee grinder or spice grinder should be dedicated to ground seeds and nuts only.
If you prefer not to ground your own sesame seeds, substitute 2 – 3 tablespoons store bought Asian sesame paste or smooth peanut butter. You could also use chunky peanut butter. I prefer to use the smooth kind and add chopped freshly roasted peanuts, it has a nicer crunch.
NOTE 2: Substitute red and yellow cherry tomatoes cut in halves
… … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …
Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.
Robin, The Gardener of Eden, is the host for Thursdays Kitchen Cupboard. Head on over to Thursday’s Kitchen Cupboard to see what others are cooking.