Wednesday, May 23, 2012
As the weather is getting warmer each day, we can start to look at putting in some of our favorite plants, tomatoes and peppers. Most people put in a nice variety of tomatoes ranging from big boys to old fashioned varieties like Brandywines. We all know that tomatoes come in a variety of colors from red to yellow. However, have you ever seen a white tomato?
White tomatoes are starting to grow in popularity as the taste is completely different. Professional chefs have started to use them to produce unique and different sauces for both pasta and fish. A white tomato has a white to slightly yellowish coloring, depending on the variety. The tomato itself has no red pigment in it, and has a very low acidity. In turn, they usually have a higher sugar content which results in a sweet and very appetizing tomato.
Currently, companies like Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds sell a nice selection of white tomato varieties. Based on what you look for in a tomato, those same characteristics can be found in white tomatoes. The cream sausage variety is a nice elongated paste tomato that is perfect for pastas. Another variety is the Duggin White which is a medium sized beefsteak tomato that is good for a wide variety of purposes. For those who enjoy big tomatoes, the Great White tomato weighs in around a pound or more. For those who enjoy heirloom gardening,the White Queen variety was developed in the 1882 by A.W. Livingston and actually has roots here in Ohio.
One interesting twist on cooking is white tomato soup. The following is an interesting recipe from www.beekman1802.com for white tomato soup.
WHITE CREAM OF TOMATO SOUP
1 Quart jar of whole or crushed white tomatoes (red will do.)
5 T butter
2 T flour
3 medium sized chopped onions
3 C milk
1 C white wine
2 t salt
1/2 t baking soda (stops milk from curdling)
1 t freshly ground white pepper (black will work also, but make for a less pure presentation.)
Chopped fresh basil and/or parsley for garnish
In a soup pot large enough to contain all the ingredients, melt the butter over a low heat. Add onions, and stir until softened and translucent. Be sure to keep heat low enough to avoid browning the onions. This may take 7-10 minutes. Sprinkle flour over the onions and stir to incorporate. Next add milk, wine, salt and pepper. Stir to mix completely and keep on a low simmer for roughly 1/2 hour until reduced by quarter to a third. Watch heat level do not allow milk to boil over.
Add the baking soda directly to the jar of tomatoes and stir. Once mixed, pour jar contents into hot milk mixture. Puree with either a hand-held mixer or food processor.
Add more salt if necessary, serve hot, and garnish with fresh parsley and/or basil.
What it lacks in color, it surprises in flavor.Tweet