It’s tomato season – that short and hallowed time of year to savor Cherokee Purples and Big Boys. With farmer’s markets from downtown to Collierville, you can buy your favorite farm-grown tomatoes and enjoy the deliciousness of summer!


Pimento Cheese Grits
with Oven Roasted Tomatoes & Poached Eggs


2 cups mixed cherry or grape
tomatoes (St. Bethany’s Fresh – MS grown)
1-2 tablespoons olive oil salt and pepper
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup water or vegetable broth

1/3 cup white or yellow grits
salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup prepared pimento cheese (like local fave Tom’s Tiny Kitchen)
2-4 tablespoons milk
4 eggs
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, toss the tomatoes with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread out on the sheet pan in a single layer and roast until lightly charred, about 12-15 minutes. Set aside.
In a medium saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute the onion, stirring occasionally, until caramelized. Transfer to a bowl and wipe out pan. Fill with water and bring to a bare simmer.
For the grits, in a medium saucepan, heat the water/broth with salt and pepper to a boil. Turn down heat to low and whisk in grits. Continue to cook until the liquid is absorbed and the grits are tender. Off the heat, whisk in the pimento cheese and extra milk to get to a nice creamy consistency. Keep warm.
For the eggs, add the vinegar to the simmering water and add the eggs, cooking until poached to the desired doneness. When ready to serve, place half of the cheese grits on the serving dish and top with the caramelized onions and tomatoes. Top each dish with 2 poached eggs, garnishing with fresh, minced cilantro and additional cracked black pepper.


Ripley Tomato Caprese Panini


4 Ripley tomatoes, sliced thick
1 ciabatta roll sliced in half
1 ball mozzarella di bufala, sliced thick
8 fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons parmesan, grated
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 cup balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

In a small pot, bring balsamic to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Reduce balsamic by about half, or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Chop 4 of the basil leaves, reserving the other 4. In a mixing bowl, combine chopped basil, garlic, oil, mayo, parmesan and salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly to create a pesto mayo. Butter both sides of ciabatta with pesto mayo. Assemble sandwich: ciabatta, tomato, mozzarella, 4 remaining basil leaves, balsamic reduction, ciabatta. Transfer sandwich to panini press. Cook 3 to 4 minutes on medium high heat. The Ripley tomatoes are from the Agricenter Farmer’s Market.
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Heirloom Tomato Panzanella Salad


fresh heirloom tomatoes,
3 different colors
1 English cucumber
1 red onion
1 ounce arugula

4 ounces sourdough bread
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup granulated sugar sea salt and black pepper

Choose your favorite heirloom tomatoes from a local farmer’s market. Combine vinegar and sugar together in a mixing bowl and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Slice the two ends off of the cucumber and cut it in half. Slice cucumber length-wise very thin, using a vegetable peeler or a mandolin. Place cucumber into the vinegar mixture for one hour.

Cut sourdough bread into one inch pieces. Place them on a sheet pan and cook them in the oven at 350 degrees for 4-5 minutes until lightly toasted and dry. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Wash the tomatoes well and cut them in half. Remove the stem and cut into one inch pieces.

Divide tomato, sourdough bread and three each slices of cucumber in 4 plastic bags. Take two ounces of the cucumber pickling vinegar and whisk in six ounces of olive oil to create a cucumber vinaigrette. Add one teaspoon to each bag of tomatoes; allow to marinate at room temperature for one hour. Peel red onion and slice one quarter of the onion into very thin slices and separate the sliver of onions.

In a mixing bowl, toss the tomato mixture, red onions, arugula; dress with two tablespoons of the cucumber vinegar and sprinkle with sea salt and fresh black pepper to serve.
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Stacked Heirloom Tomato Salad with Grilled Halibut


4 heirloom tomatoes, at least 2 different
1 red onion
2 sprigs of oregano, chopped
4 basil leaves, chopped
red wine vinegar
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1 7 ounce filet of halibut

2 garlic cloves, minced
6 asparagus spears
fresh herbs of your choice, chopped
1 small can of tomato paste
1 rib of celery, rough chopped
1 carrot, rough chopped
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon peppercorns
hickory wood chips

For the Salad: Slice the heirloom tomatoes 1/4 inch thick so that you have 6 slices of alternating colors. Slice the onion very thin. Save all the tomato and onion trimmings. Beginning with a tomato slice, in a ring mold build layers of tomato, onions, basil and oregano. Make sure to season each layer with a light dusting of salt and pepper. When the ring mold is full, sprinkle the salad with olive oil and red wine vinegar so that enough runs down all the layers. Place a weight on top of the salad and chill in the fridge for 2 hours.

For the Halibut: Season the fish with salt and pepper, garlic, and chopped herbs. Lightly brush a very hot grill or grill pan with oil or non-stick spray, place the fish flesh side down at a 45 degree angle to the grates. Do not move the fish for 2 minutes. Rotate the fish 90 degrees to cross-hatch the grill marks. Cook for 1 more minute on this side then flip the fish gently. Cook the fish for 2 minutes on the other side. Remove the fish and serve immediately with Charred Asparagus and Smoky Tomato Broth.

For the Asparagus: Coat asparagus spears in olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and minced garlic. Place them on the same hot grill or grill pan and let them smoke. Char them on one side then the other. Cook for a total of 3 minutes.

For the Smoky Tomato Broth: Take all the tomato trimmings, onion trimmings, celery, and carrot and place in a smoker basket. Smoke the hickory wood chips in the smoker basin. Place the basket on top of the basin and cover. Smoke vegetables for 5 minutes. Cook the smoked vegetables in a sauce pot until soft. Add tomato paste, bay leaf, peppercorns, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cover with water and cook for 5 minutes. Blend this mixture in a blender until smooth. Strain through a fine strainer with a coffee filter.
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Tomato and Melon Salad with Mint Syrup Vinaigrette


2 large heirloom tomato slices
honeydew melon cut in rings as needed
cantaloupe melon cut in rings as needed

1 pound feta cheese, crumbled
olive oil
micro or regular mint for garnish

Season the tomato slices and melons with kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Stack the melons with the tomatoes (honeydew, cantaloupe, tomato, feta cheese, honeydew, cantaloupe, tomato) and drizzle with the mint syrup vinaigrette. Garnish with micro or regular mint before serving. The heirloom tomatoes are from Old World Farms in Hernando, MS, and can be found at the Hernando Square Farmers Market on Saturdays.

Mint Syrup Vinaigrette

3 ounces granulated sugar
3 ounces water

2 sprigs fresh mint
1 lemon zest and juice

Heat water, sugar, and mint in a pot until boiling. Remove the pot from the heat and cool down. After cool, add the lemon juice and zest and set aside until ready to use.
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Folk’s Folly

Heirloom Tomato & Cucumber Salad
With English Pea Coulis And Spiced Yogurt


1 lb. assorted heirloom tomatoes cut in various shapes
1 large English cucumber, peeled into strips
¼ cup cooked English peas
3 tablespoons heavy cream
juice and zest of 1 lemon

3 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Place the English peas, heavy cream and lemon juice in a blender and puree until smooth. Place in refrigerator until time to serve. Peas can be poached in salted water until bright green, or feel free to purchase precooked peas ( fresh are preferred).

In a small bowl, mix together the lemon zest, yogurt, salt and nutmeg and mix thoroughly. Place in refrigerator until time to serve.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the heirloom tomatoes and strips of cucumber with the chopped parsley and olive oil. Season with Kosher salt and black pepper. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Serve with the two chilled sauces on the side or have fun decorating a platter with the sauces as paint.
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Tomato Salad


one ripe tomato
2 cups baby romaine lettuce
2 ounces Goat cheese

good olive oil
salt and cracked black pepper




1 cucumber, seeded but not peeled
1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded
1 yellow bell pepper, cored and seeded
4 Ripley tomatoes
1 red onion

3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups tomato juice
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt and pepper to taste

Roughly chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onions Put each vegetable separately into a food processor until it is coarsely chopped, almost a puree.
After each vegetable is processed, combine in a large bowl and add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well and chill before serving. The longer gazpacho sits, the more the flavors develop. Serve in a chilled bowl.

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Heirloom Stuffed Tomatoes

Heirloom tomatoes
Variety of heirlooms from Tubby Creek Farms are Cherokee Purple, Big Rainbow, Jubilee, and Black Krim; cut tops off of each and hollow out with spoon, reserving the inside for stuffing mixture.

Vegetable Stuffing

1 Maize corn
1 red onion, diced
1 each green and red bell pepper, diced

1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 cup olive oil
salt and pepper

Cut the corn from the cob, and toss all together with the reserved tomato insides.

3 ounces granulated sugar
3 ounces water

2 sprigs fresh mint
1 lemon zest and juice



Jumbo Lump Crabmeat and Lemon Beurre Blanc Stuffing

1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat
1 cup white wine
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 shallot, diced

1 small bunch thyme, chopped
3 garlic cloves
10 black peppercorns

Put all in pot and reduce till almost dry. Chill and fill a hollowed out heirloom tomato. A special thanks to Tubby Creek for the heirlooms, and to Delta Sol Farm for the summer blooms. Both farmers are at the Cooper-Young Community Farmers Market, Saturdays, 8am-1pm, in the First Congo parking lot.
Tomatoes purchased from Tubby Creek Farm Flowers purchased from Delta Sol Farm They can both be found at the Cooper-Young Community Farmers Market, Saturdays, 8am-1pm, in the First Congo parking lot.

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