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)
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.
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