Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Growing Kellogg's Breakfast Tomatoes and a Colors of Summer Salad with Tomatoes, Zucchini, Sweet Red Pepper, Beet Greens, Basil, & Garbanzos


Kellogg's Breakfast Tomatoes Ripe, Ready To Eat. . .



And Looking Good From Top To Bottom

Realization Of The Day:
Absentmindedness saved me from having to eat my words--which left me with plenty of room for these glorious tomatoes.

Here's what happened. I planted Kellogg's Breakfast tomatoes because I absolutely love them. But when the first tomatoes ripened, they were big and bad. And not in a good way bad. In a rotting, cracked, mushy, bug-infested way bad. That's when I remembered that I'm not supposed to be growing giant tomatoes anymore. They simply take way too long to mature--which means there is plenty of time for tomato diaster to strike in one (or three or four) of its many forms.

The worst of the supersize tomatoes are the ones shaped like these--all rumpled and full of cracks and crevices. Similarly shaped varieties include Purple Cherokee and Brandywine (which is probably the best known heirloom tomato in the country--and possibly beyond). Many people who have no idea what an heirloom tomato actually is have heard of the infamous pink Brandywines. In fact, the Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds catalog claims it is "the most popular heirloom vegetable!" which makes sense considering heirloom tomatoes are undoubtedly more well known than all other heirloom vegetables.

But back to the rotten Kellogg's Breakfast tomatoes. I plucked two of the offending specimens from the vine and set them in the grass to take a photo. I figured I would show you what a waste of time it is to grow these and berate myself for falling into their sweet, juicy, beautifully orange trap once again.

Something distracted me, though (most likely Cary), and it wasn't until the next day that I realized I'd picked those tomatoes up and tossed them into the bowl of gourmet scraps for the chickens--and forgotten all about the photo.

No problem. I would simply take a picture of the next ripe ones, as they would surely look just as sorry. Boy, was I wrong. Not only did I find these four beauties yesterday, but the vines are loaded with (so far) perfect looking, nearly ripe tomatoes. Yes!

This means I am now officially recommending Kellogg's Breakfast tomatoes for your garden. I can't guarantee you'll have a successful harvest, but I think they're worth a try. These plants were started from seeds ordered in 2005 from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, who says of Kellogg's Breakfast tomatoes: "A giant, beautiful, orange beefsteak preserved by our friend Darrell Kellogg, a railroad supervisor from Redford, Michigan. The fruits are very flavorful and superbly sweet! This delicious heirloom is from West Virginia. A favorite of Dr. Carolyn Male, author of 100 Heirloom Tomatoes For The American Garden." I started my seeds on 2/6/06, transplanted the seedlings into individual plugs on 3/19/06, moved them into the ground on 4/25/06, wondered what the heck was taking so long on 5/19/06, and have probably eaten two pounds of them over the last two days, some of which were in this impromptu zucchini & tomato salad I created this afternoon.



This is basically a variation of my Summer In A Bowl, but it was inspired by this recipe my pal Alanna (whose last name just happens to be Kellogg) posted last year on her popular blog, A Veggie Venture. The recipe caught my eye when I was perusing her archives this morning because I have some zucchini I need to eat, and I liked the idea of using it raw. So I took her recipe and ran with it. I love how it is just bursting with the colors of summer.

Like the Summer In A Bowl, this is a very juicy salad--even if you squeeze some of the juice and seeds out of the tomatoes before dicing them up. I don't mind all that juice (in fact I will probably put it in a glass and happily drink it up), and if you let the salad sit around on the counter for a while, it acts as a marinade, allowing the veggies to soak up even more flavor. You could always dish it up with a slotted spoon if you don't want to serve something sloshy.

Again, you can play around with ingredients and ways to serve it. I think this would make a fantastic cold pasta salad. If I were going to toss it with hot pasta (which I bet would be very tasty), I would probably dunk the diced zucchini and sweet red peppers into the pasta water during the last minute or two of cooking.

Use what you love and what you have on hand when putting together this salad. Amounts are totally up to you. Make it yours--but please do share any scrumptious variations you come up with. Enjoy.

Farmgirl's Colors Of Summer Salad
(Adapted from A Veggie Venture's Tomato & Zucchini Salad)

Vine Ripened Tomatoes (preferably a variety of colors), diced
Raw Zucchini, diced
Sweet Red Pepper, diced (I used my favorite
Aconcagua from the garden)
Beet Greens, finely chopped (found them in the fridge)
Scallions, chopped
Garbanzo Beans (organic, I used one 15-ounce can)
Fresh Basil, chopped
Pecorino Romano Cheese, coarsely grated
Salad Dressing (I used Whole Foods Organic Fat Free Balsamic Vinaigrette--another item that needed using up)

Put everything (along with anything else that strikes your fancy) in a large bowl and toss with a big spoon until well combined. Salt & pepper to taste. Devour however you like (see my Summer In A Bowl post for more ideas), garnished if desired with shredded cheese and basil chiffonade. A hunk of warm, crusty bread served on the side to soak up all that juice should probably be a requirement.

© Copyright FarmgirlFare.com, the bright orange foodie farm blog where when we say Kellogg's, we aren't talking about breakfast cereal.

14 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for adding to my knowledge about garlic. I have way too much of it this year, because. . .well. . .it's such an ugly story. The guy who first brought garlic out here to plant told me when I dig it up, I should lay it out to dry in a shady, protected spot (out of the sun, out of the rain). I thought: open machine shed. Worked fine the first year. (He says lay it out for a couple of weeks, then cut the stems down to about 8 inches, dry another couple of weeks, then cut one more time down to an inch or so.) But last year, during the first drying period, some started to disappear. Well, turns out the pack rats like garlic. (Who knew?) They hauled off 1/3 of my crop, and kinda' left me not too hungry for the rest of it that they had walked over and nibbled on. (Funny that way, I am!) So. . .I just planted it all! Yep, all 300 cloves! Did I mention that I live alone? And while of course I like garlic, there is a definite limit to what I can consume. I had some that did really well and so I am saving that for planting this fall, and am just struggling with some that will definitely not store worth a hoot. Someone suggested that I could store it in olive oil. Sound like a plan? Thanks again! Sorry to be so wordy. I'm just long-winded - could be that living alone thing, am not sure.

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  2. I don't understand the interest in eating raw zucchini - don't you find it to have an odd texture/tackiness - kind of sticky or astringent or something? I can never quite label it correctly - just something - distasteful. But I do love it cooked!

    The salad looks like it could almost make an equally good salsa with just a slightly finer chop!

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  3. PS Those tomatoes are BEAUTIFUL! I've never grown Kellogg's variety, but I've seen them in the catalog. There's just something so enticing about a tomato so big you can barely hold one in your hand! :)

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  4. Now I'm worried. I started Kellog's breakfast from seed indoors but they died during hardening. So around the end of May I direct seeded 1 seed outside which is now 1 big plant with several small green fruit. Our first frost date ranges anywhere from Sept 1-October 30th. I think I'm going to need some epsom salts to speed up the ripening process.

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  5. You've almost invented panzanella! It's an Italian salad. Add some stale bread (traditionally just the white part) soaked in water and squeezed out. It will soak up the the excess liquid and absorb some of the vinaigrette taste. Sourdough works really nicely.

    Love your blog. Many thanks for all your sharing!

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  6. Tomatoes for breakfast? What the bleep! Well maybe these I'd eat for a late morning snack...

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  7. I made this! I also threw in some cold, leftover couscous and cut the kernels off of 2 leftover grilled corns on the cob and added them too. It was very yummy! I also made the dreaded mistake of making your beer bread with guiness. It was inedible. Do you recommend a light beer for that recipe instead?

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  8. Wow...I always thought when tomatoes were "marked" like the one on the bottom right, or somewhat "quartered off" that I had done something wrong growing the tomatoes. This isn't so, then? What causes those marks on the bottom, anyway? And what causes tomatoes to "gather in the middle" causing kind of that "quartered" effect instead of them being perfect and round?

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  9. Hey, sign me up for one of these. It sounds great. I already told Alanna I've never heard of this type of yellow tomato before. They're almost orange, I love the color.

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  10. I made this salad. Although I haven't eaten even a spoonful of the finished product, I can tell you that:

    1. I owe you a lifetime for encouraging me to try Heirloom tomatoes. I've seen them in the stores, but never had the courage to taste them--until now. When I was chopping up my Heirlooms (yellow and orange) for the salad, I ate a piece for the first time...and then had to physically restrain myself from putting my FACE IN THE BOWL. Holy TOLEDO are those good tomatoes!

    2. I'm vegan, so I skipped the cheese. I spent the whole time that I was chopping thinking to myself, "I should add a cheese substitute," and then I got to the end and it looked so pretty that I totally skipped it. I imagine that if you were really missing something, you might avocado bits or crumbled peanuts on top. (Don't laugh about the peanuts--vegans know it's AMAZING how much nuts can resemble cheese!)

    3. I didn't have garbanzos, so I added black beans instead. And then I liked the Spanish effect--even though I had already added the Italian dressing--so I added both chili flakes and a TINY pinch of cayenne pepper. The spoon I licked off tasted, again, so good that I almost put my face in the bowl, but I'm waiting.

    I'll keep you posted. :)

    (Sorry so wordy. I drink wine while cooking.) :)

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  11. Update: I had a bite of my salad.

    And then I had many, many more bites. In fact, mmmph, mmmph, chew, chew--I'm still eating! YUM!

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  12. Summer in a bowl - what an abosolutely perfect description. This looks heavenly.

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  13. That looks so very good.

    Isn't it awful when certain plants just won't thrive for you? I tried to grow eggplants this year..what a disaster!

    I have had disaster on some tomato but I truly believe it was more the weathers fault..at least that is what I want to think.

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  14. Great blog adn amazing dishes. Way to go mate great contribution to us foodies.

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