Genetically unique and grown from nonhybrid seeds passed down for generations, heirloom tomatoes come in myriad shapes and sizes, boasting groovy names like Black From Tula, Green Zebra, Caspian Pink, and Azoychka. Take a deep whiff before buying; good scent means good taste. Some may have cracks (heirlooms are known for flavor, not hardiness); not to worry, they’re still edible. Never refrigerate, which ruins all tomatoes.

Tomato-chèvre bites. Halve any color of heirloom grape or cherry tomatoes. Dollop with goat cheese whipped with fresh lemon zest, minced chives, and black pepper.

BLT. Layer fat heirloom tomato slices on toasted whole-grain bread; top with tempeh bacon, green-leaf lettuce or watercress, and mayo mixed with minced garlic and fresh basil. Or skip the bread, thin the mayo mixture with a little lemon juice, and drizzle over chopped ingredients for a salad.

Roasted. Brush halved tomatoes with olive oil, arrange in a glass baking dish, and roast at 450 degrees for 20–25 minutes, until tender and browned. Chop and simmer with onions and herbs for an especially flavorful marinara sauce.

 

Roasted Heirloom Tomato and Ricotta Crostini

Choose tomatoes of varied colors for this satisfying snack. preheat oven to 375°. cut 1 loaf crusty, whole-grain baguette into 1⁄2-inch- thick slices; brush with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toast on a baking sheet for 10 minutes, turning once, until golden. Remove. increase heat to 425°. Halve 1 pound small heirloom tomatoes; toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, salt, and pepper. spread on a rimmed baking sheet, cut side up; roast 15 minutes. purée 11⁄2 cups fresh whole-milk ricotta until smooth. spread cheese on toasts and top with roasted tomatoes. Drizzle lightly with aged balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with a little more fresh thyme. serves 8.

PER SERVING: 136 cal, 10g fat (6g mono, 1g poly, 3g sat), 14mg chol, 6g protein, 5g carb, 1g fiber, 66mg sodium