Heirloom Tomato Toast with Fresh Ricotta

Heirloom Tomato Toast with Ricotta The tragically short season for heirloom tomatoes is upon us. I delightedly picked up a few pounds of these inbred fruits at my local farmer's market. I actually had never tried heirloom tomatoes before, so I decided to do a little research as to why foodies, locavores, and naturalists have all deemed the heirloom tomato superior to its much cuter cousin, the regular tomato.

Heirloom Tomato Toast with Ricotta

Grandma's Pick Heirloom Tomatoes at Tribeca Farmer's Market

Heirloom tomatoes lack a genetic mutation that makes a round, uniformly-colored fruit. However, the genetically-mutated "pretty" tomato has lower levels of carotenoids and a decreased ability to make sugar within the fruit. That means that it's less healthy AND less tasty! The "food industry" started favoring the mutant in the 1940s. Sounds a lot like the waxy, unappealing red delicious apple, right?  It kind of makes sense that the food industry wanted the more dull tomato, as the heirloom tomato not only has a short season, but they are prone to bruising and have an exceedingly short shelf life.

Brandywine Heirloom Tomatoes

Cherokee Red Heirloom Tomato and other finds at the farmer's market

I picked up a variety of these non-mutant tomatoes--"brandywine," "grandma's pick," "Indian Cherokee Red" and a few others. The more I learn about the heirloom tomato, the more beautiful they become.  I wanted to enjoy these tomatoes in all of their splendor, so I settled on a simple ricotta toast.  I picked up a loaf of multi-grain bread at the farmer's market as well, which made the perfect companion for my tomatoes.

Slice the tomatoes

multigrain toast with ricotta

ricotta toast

Heirloom Tomato Toast with Fresh Ricotta Cheese

Heirloom Tomato Ricotta Toast
Author: Vallery
Serves: 2
You don't really need a recipe for this! Just smear on whatever toppings you like. Also, you can replace the ricotta with avocado, and even sprinkle some lemon juice on top.
Ingredients
  • 2 heirloom tomatoes
  • 4 pieces of high-quality, fresh multi-grain bread
  • 1/4 cup fresh ricotta cheese
  • 16 basil leaves
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
Instructions
  1. Thinly slice the tomatoes. Place the sliced tomatoes in a colander and let them drain for 15 minutes. Remove them from the colander and lightly sprinkle with salt.
  2. Toast the bread, then spread a layer of fresh ricotta cheese on top. Add the basil leaves.
  3. Layer the sliced tomato on the ricotta toast.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with pepper. Add salt to taste. Garnish with any additional basil leaves.