Food & Drink

Relinquishing Summer and Her Heirloom Tomatoes—the Last Delicious Gasp

Summer is lackadaisical lollygagging, a break from the strict, fixed work of life lived inside: sunshine, or rain followed by a Cheshire cat rainbow; a child’s indulgence of bare toes on grass, picking sprouting buds, sighting butterflies and bees; sunny youth times crocheted with strolling days, beach days, giggling-friends days. It wears a garb of loose shirts, flowing skirts, shorts, loosely tied hair, fleetingly brushed-on pastel Mom makeup.

It’s not easy to give up on the deliciousness of these lazy days. But you can trail summer behind you in September as you look back, reluctantly. Take with you the happy beneficence of the last bulbous, smile-split, bursting heirloom tomatoes. Invite them to squelch into a soup or melt into courting shrimp, coaxed into a gentle philosophy of custard in a frittata.


Tomato Gazpacho with Manzanilla Syrup


Yield: six portions

Equipment: measuring cups and spoons, medium bowl, Vitamix or food processor, rubber spatula, small saucepan, drum sieve.


1 tablespoon rough-chopped garlic
1 cup diced onion
2 cups crusted white baguette, rough-chopped, soaked in water and squeezed out

3 pounds ripe, skinned, cored heirloom tomatoes
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
2 tablespoon superfine sugar

1 cup extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 ½ cups Manzanilla or Oloroso sherry
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon pimento dulce


Turn on blender and drop garlic, onion, and soaked bread through the feed tube. Blend till a thick paste.
Drop in chopped tomatoes. Add vinegars, Tabasco, and sugar.
Drizzle in olive oil. Season to taste. Turn off blender.
Press through drum sieve. Chill for at least four hours.Combine sherry and sugar and reduce to syrup.
To serve, pour soup into bowls, cups, or glasses; garnish with a drizzle of Manzanilla syrup.

De nada!


Tomato and Shrimp Frittata

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Yield: six portions

Equipment: measuring cups and spoons, small saucepan, medium-large bowl, medium wire whisk, rubber spatula, 12-inch ovenproof sauté pan or muffin tin tray, half-sheet tray.


¼ cup olive oil
1 cup minced onion

1 cup skinned, cored ripe heirloom tomatoes
½ teaspoon sugar

2 cups shelled, cleaned, chopped shrimp
1 teaspoon chipotle sauce
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt

12 beaten eggs
1 teaspoon Spanish pimento dulce or sweet paprika
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup chopped parsley


Turn oven on to 350 degrees
Heat a small sauté pan. Add olive oil. Add onion and cook till light golden. Cool.
In a medium large bowl combine shrimp, chipotle sauce, olive oil, and salt.
Add eggs, cooled onions, and season.
Heat a medium ovenproof sauté pan over moderate heat. Add olive oil, swirling to cover bottom and sides of pan thoroughly. When oil is shimmering, carefully add egg mixture, distributing shrimp and tomatoes evenly. Cook over moderate heat till bottom is cooked. Place on half- sheet pan in oven and cook till top is just cooked—about 20 minutes.
When cooked, carefully remove sheet pan and place on top of stove.
Allow to sit and settle before cutting into pieces ready for service. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

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