No matter that the farmers markets are brimming right now with heirloom tomatoes of all shapes and sizes, some chefs want a customized tomato that they can call their own. So it was with top-notch local SF catering company, Taste, who dreamed of a tomato that was the ideal flavor—a balance of sweetness and acidity—as well as the perfect shape.
In kind of a Weird Science meets HGTV moment, executive chef Chris Borges called upon the help of tomato breeder extraordinaire Fred Hempel of Baia Nicchia Farm & Nursery to come up with the perfect specimen—a traditional genetic cross between a Magliarosa and the Zucchero—and the Taste tomato was born.
Should you not make it to a Taste event this year to try out this tomato, make sure you check out Seeds of Change catalogue next year when the tomato's seeds will be available so you can grow your own.
TASTE SUMMER GAZPACHO
1/2 English cucumber
1/2 yellow onion, diced
3 pounds ripe tomatoes
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup fruity red wine
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons good-quality red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
1 ounce good-quality extra virgin olive oil
Peel, remove seeds, and roughly chop the English cucumber. Using a paring knife, make a small X in the bottom of each tomato. Remove the core. Peel the tomatoes by dropping them in boiling water for 20 seconds and then shocking in ice water. The peels should slip off easily. Halve the tomatoes and squeeze gently to remove the seeds.
Mix the first five ingredients and push through a food mill with small holes. (A blender can be used but you won't get the same traditional texture.) Place the minced garlic on a cutting board. Add the salt, pepper and paprika. Smash the garlic with the side of a knife to form a paste. Add the olive oil at this point to facilitate the process.
Place the garlic paste into a bowl and slowy stir in the tomato mixture. Add the red wine vinegar and parlsey to finish. Adjust seasonings if necessary.
Float the reserved olive oil on the surface of the soup right before serving.