My love for tomatoes started at a very young age. One of my of my most vivid memories was at the age of 8. It was a hot summer day and my next door neighbor, Jeffrey and I had picked a bowl full of tomatoes from the garden. Suddenly a storm blew in. We ran to my house to watch the rain. With two dinning room chairs we pulled up to the big front window, and the curtain draped around the back of our chairs we began to eat our bowl full of tomatoes while we watched the sheets of rain ripple across our street. We ate them just like apples. It was all delicious and fun until a couple of hours later when my stomach realized it was just too much! It took a couple of years for me to get my taste for tomatoes back but I did. I am obsessed with them.
Last year we started an organic garden here on our farm. My son and I have worked hard to amend the soil to make it nutrient rich for growing delicious tasting vegetables. For Noble Pies I need tomatoes for slicing and using in our tomato pies. Some of the varieties that I have been particularly happy with are these which are all sourced from the @HudsonValleySeedCompany: First, the Paul Robeson Tomatoes. These are a “black” type tomato with a smoky and sweet flavor. This Russian heirloom is lovingly named after a famous opera singer, linguist and equal rights champion. Another favorite is The Cherokee Purple Tomato. It is another smoky heirloom. It is reddish with dark colored shoulder striations. It is originally from Tennessee and cultivated by the Cherokee Native American tribe. My other favorite for our pie is the Mikado. It is fabulous. It is a very rare heirloom and one of the most sought after American heirlooms ( I understand exactly why!). The other most important ingredient in our Tomato Pies is the basil. I plant it in several locations around the garden and in pots on our back porch. A few varieties are always delicious such as Genovese, Thai, Red Rubin and Italian Large leaf. What we don’t use in pies we use in pesto, sauce, with mozzarella cheese, etc.
At Noble Pies we seasonally offer Tomato Soup. I use the tomatoes listed above. Keeping it simple and all about the taste of the tomatoes is my priority. Some sauteed onion and garlic and some fresh herbs makes for a wonderful soup that is perfect accompanying a grilled cheese sandwich!
We also offer Tomato Sauce. My favorite sauce is made from an assortment of small tomatoes. These are my favorites: From @HudsonValleySeedCompany , Marzano Fire Tomato has beautiful orange stripes on it’s deep red flesh and a bit of pizzazz in it’s taste. Amish Paste Tomatoes, they make a nice rich sauce. Last but not least and a superb addition to the sauce the Orange Banana Plum Tomato. This amazing tomato is good for everything. This tomato also makes an incredible dried tomato too!
Our Tomato Pie was inspired by my love of the taste of summer. It’s only available for a few weeks each year. I hope you will have an opportunity to try one and perhaps you will look forward to it each summer like our family does.