…an Italian stallion.
It is not yet tomato season in northern California, but hothouse tomatoes are available from certain growers at the CUESA Farmers Market. It seems as though the hothouse heirlooms go south faster than those grown in the fields, but maybe it’s just been so long since the end of last tomato season that I don’t remember.
In any case, I discovered a new variety – for me – at Madison Growers: Costaluto Genovese. I had to noodle around Google for a while before finding the correct spelling of “Costaluto.” I asked Jane Atallah at the Madison Growers stand for the name of this unusual tomato and she was glad to oblige. She told me that Costaluto means “ribbed” in Italian. This is a different – and very good tomato, very high in acid, with a thick, rather tough skin. The skin slips off easily though when its roasted or parboiled for five seconds or so.
I bought five of these tomatoes at the Saturday market, and ate two that day for lunch with cucumbers and cottage cheese. By Wednesday, the three remaining were getting a little wrinkly around their shoulders. As I prepared warm potato salad with smoked tuna for dinner, I figured I better use them.
As served May 2010 with Warm Potato and Smoked Trout Salad
Costaluto (ribbed) Genovese tomatoes
fresh bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450°F
Core the tomatoes.
Fill the core with bread crumbs, pressing them in. (I made fresh breadcrumbs in the little Braun food processor from an Acme Herb Slab.)
Lay a thin slice of butter over the crumbs.
Lay cheese matchsticks over the butter. (I used Cowgirl Creamery Batch 35 cheese (I found they call it Wagon Wheel on their website)… It didn’t melt smoothly. Probably better with grated parmesan or a thin slice of fresh mozzarella or grated cheddar.)
Put tomatoes on a baking pan covered with non-stick aluminum foil. Slather the tomatoes with olive oil.
Bake for 10 minutes or so.