Heirloom Tomato Cooking Contest Recipes

Clayton Farmer's Market's first Heirloom Tomato Festival was a huge success.

Chefs Richard Perry (Lindell Terrace Cafe and Bar), Steve Gontrum (Harvest), Lisa Slay (Remy's) and Bryan Young (Catering Plus) made wonderful salads with market tomatoes.

At 11:00am the amateur cooking contest began, featuring ten entrees. They were luscious. Judges Dorothy Weiner (Ladue News), Ann Lemon (St. Louis Magazine), Dorothy Firestone (Jewish Light), Joe Pollack (KWMU) and Chef Nicko Sahlas (www.cheftalk.com) had a hard job deciding the winner, but they had to choose and Susan White won with her Tomato Cobbler. Jackie Schillington took second place with East Coast Tomato Pie. Amy Knolland won third place with Tomato Fruit Salad with Peach Jalapeno Vinaigrette.

There are an abundance of many varieties of Heirloom tomatoes currently on the market. Heirlooms are old varieties that are thinner skinned, juicy and just don't ship well. These are a treasure to those of us that wait until tomatoes are ripe locally.

Here are some recipes using heirloom tomatoes that you can make in your own kitchen:

* East Coast Tomato Pie
* Heirloom Tomato Salad with Peach and Jalapeno Vinaigrette
* Braised Mortgage Lifter Tomatoes with Lamb Shanks
* Pecan Encrusted Green Mortgage Lifter Tomatoes
* Tomato and Goat Cheese Gratin
* Yellow Tomato Flan

Come visit Clayton Farmer's Market, open Sat. mornings 8-noon May through Oct 27 (except Sept 8th during the Art Fair). They have live music, breakfast crepes and omelets, SLU dietitians giving nutritional advise, Mo. Botanical Gardeners advising on organic practices, and every week a couple chefs have cooking demonstrations and give tours of the market.

Come visit Clayton Farmer's Market, open Sat. mornings 8-noon May through Oct 27 (except Sept 8th during the Art Fair). They have live music, breakfast crepes and omelets, SLU dietitians giving nutritional advise, Mo. Botanical Gardeners advising on organic practices, and every week a couple chefs have cooking demonstrations and give tours of the market.

(Second Place Winner: Jackie Shillington)

Serves 6


* 1 9” pie crust
* 5 medium-size ripe tomatoes, peeled & thickly sliced
* 1 cup chopped green onions (part of leaves included)
* 1 Tbsp. each chopped fresh basil & oregano
* salt & pepper to taste
* 2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
* 1 cup Hellmann’s mayonnaise
* 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


1. Preheat oven to 4OOF. Prick the pie crust with a fork, bake 10 minutes, & remove from the oven. Reduce the heat to 325F.
2. Cover the bottom of the cooled crust with 2 layers of tomatoes. Sprinkle on half the scallions, basil, & oregano, & season with salt & pepper. In a bowl, combine Cheddar cheese and mayonnaise, mix until well blended, & spread half the mixture over the tomatoes. Repeat the layering with the remaining tomatoes, scallions, basil, & oregano, salt & pepper & mayonnaise spread. Top with freshly grated Parmesan, & bake until golden & firm about 45 minutes. Let the pie cool slightly.

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Peach and Jalapeno Vinaigrette
(Third Place Winner: Amy Knollman)

Serves 4

Salad Ingredients:

* 5 Heirloom tomatoes sliced in wedges
* 1 Nectarine, cut into small wedges
* 1 peach cut into small wedges
* 2 small plums quartered small apricots quartered
* 2-3 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
* Sliced Almonds to taste
* Coarse Salt

Vinaigrette Ingredients:

* 3 peaches pitted and chopped coarsely
* 2 Jalapenos seeded and finely chopped
* 1/2 cup Peach Nectar
* 1/2 cup water
* 1/2 tsp sugar
* 2 TBSP brown rice vinegar
* 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
* salt and pepper


* Baby salad greens


1. In a saucepan place the peaches and jalapenos, nectar, water and sugar. Over medium heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for five minutes. Remove form heat and allow to cool. Place in a blender and puree. Add rice wine vinegar and olive oil while blending. Pass through fine mesh sieve and adjust seasoning. Refrigerate.
2. In a glass bowl place tomatoes and fruit. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, coarse salt and almonds
3. To serve: In the center of a large plate place a small amount of tomato and fruit salad. Drizzle with vinaigrette around the plate and top with a few greens.

Braised Mortgage Lifter Tomatoes with Lamb Shanks
(John Cronin)


* 5-6 large tomatoes
* 4-5 lbs. lamb shanks cut in half
* 2 chopped onions
* 2 tbsp oil
* 6 garlic cloves, chopped
* 3 bay leaves


1. Process 5 or 6 tomatoes as in yellow tomato flan recipe but simmer the tomato juice and meat together 5 minutes.
2. Cook the lamb shanks over a hot charcoal fire for 4 or 5 minutes only.
3. In a large Dutch oven, sauté 2 chopped onions in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add lamb shanks, 6 cloves of chopped garlic, tomatoes (about 3 cups) and
3 bay leaves.
4. Season lightly with salt & pepper; cook 2 hours in a 325° oven, tightly covered or until meat is very tender. Transfer to serving dish.

Pecan-Encrusted Green Mortgage Lifter Tomatoes
(John Cronin)


* 2-3 very green tomatoes
* 1/3 cup flour
* 1/2 cup pecan meal
* corn oil for frying


1. Cut off a thin top and bottom slice from each tomato and slice the rest of the tomatoes into 3/8” slices.
2. Mix 1/3 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of pecan meal in a bowl, set aside.
3. Sprinkle each side of the tomato slices with dark brown sugar and set aside for 5 minutes until they bleed and the sugar is melted.
4. Dredge each slice in the pecan mixture and fry in 1/2 inch of hot corn oil until browned and tender.
5. Drain on paper towels and serve.

Tomato and Goat Cheese Gratin
12 Servings


* 4 pounds plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
* 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
* 6 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
* Salt and freshly ground pepper
* 1 cup coarse white bread crumbs
* 1 pound fresh goat cheese, crumbled
* 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
* 3/4 teaspoon minced fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried
* 1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss the tomatoes with 1/2 cup of the olive oil and arrange them, cut side down, on two rimmed baking sheets. Bake the tomatoes for about 30 minutes, or until they exude some of their liquid. Carefully pour the juices into a glass measuring cup.
2. Discard the tomato skins.
3. Roast the tomatoes for 20 minutes longer. Scatter the garlic around the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and roast for about 5 minutes longer, or until the garlic is tender. Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees.
4. In a small skillet, toast the bread crumbs over moderate heat, stirring often, until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil.
5. Brush a 9-by-l3-inch baking dish with olive oil. Arrange half of the tomatoes in the baking dish. Top with the goat cheese, garlic, parsley and oregano and cover with the remaining tomatoes. Sprinkle the olives on top. Drizzle with the reserved tomato juices and scatter the bread crumbs over all.
6. Bake the tomato-goat cheese gratin for about 40 minutes, or until bubbling and golden on top. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yellow Tomato Flan
(John Cronin)


* 5-6 very ripe yellow tomatoes
* 1 shallot
* 1/2 tsp curry power
* 3/4 cup basmati rice
* 5 tbsp butter
* pinch baking soda
* 2 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
* 2-3 tbsp heavy cream


1. Using a simmering water bath, score an X on the bottom of each of 5 or 6 very ripe yellow tomatoes and submerge them for 60 seconds. Remove, then cool the tomatoes in cold water, peel and core each. Chop the tomatoes, drain and reserve their juice (should have approx. 1 1/3 cup liquid).
2. Finely chop the shallot. Sauté it in 1 tbsp. butter until tender. Add 1/2 teaspoon curry powder and 3/4 cup of basmati rice. Use tomato juice as liquid (about 1 1/3 cup liquid) and cook rice until very tender, but still moist.
3. Meanwhile, sauté reserved tomato meat with 4 tablespoons of butter and a pinch of baking soda.
4. Combine moist rice and tomato meat in blender and puree until smooth. Pour into a bowl and cool slightly.
5. Wisk in 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks plus enough heavy cream to make mixture of proper consistency. Add a pinch of salt and pour mixture into buttered muffin tins.
6. Bake in a hot water bath in a preheated 300° oven for 35 minutes or until set.