Mr. Stripey Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad

Mr. Stripey Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad - student project

I don't follow any food blogs, I tend to search for recipes based on ingredients and favor ones where I can read reviews of people that have made the recipes.  I also am one of those short attention span readers and I tend to just scroll to the recipe.

I have a gardening blog: Budding and Blooming and it seems that when you grow a bunch of vegetables, then you have to do something with them.  My draft post is about making Caprese salad with a big heirloom tomato.  

Title: Mr. Stripey Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad

Nothing screams summer like a big, juicy tomato.  The first tomato always brings excitement.  The first is usually the small cherry tomatoes, which are delicious and juicy balls of sunshine that you pop into your mouth as soon as they are off the vine.  The anticipation of the first big tomato is a summer tradition.  While the evening soundtrack of cicadas, crickets and tree frogs plays in the background, I walk the tomato row looking for signs of ripening.  I had my eye on a big Mr. Stripey with anticipation.  It was a giant tomato and seemed to take forever to ripen.

Finally the moment came.  Time to harvest the first big tomato of the year:

Mr. Stripey Tomato: 1 lbs, 2 oz

This is my first year growing Mr. Stripey.  It is an heirloom variety that was discovered by Wayne Hilton in Georgia.  The reason I added him to my grow list, other than his cool stripes and giant size, is that it is an heirloom tomato that has been shown to have very good resistance to late blight.  With hot and humid summers in South Carolina, late blight always shows up in my garden.  Any disease resistance is a positive trait to have.  It is an indeterminate tomato that can grow very large, which I luckily have room for.  I just hope it doesn't get so tall that I can't reach the tomatoes!

So now what to do with this big, beautiful tomato?  I wanted to highlight it's loveliness and flavor, so I felt a Caprese salad would be perfect.

I assembled some simple ingredients: a big Mr. Stripey tomato, fresh mozzarella, garden fresh basil, olive oil, salt and pepper.

I sliced the tomato and the mozzarella into 1/4 inch slices.  Just look at that beautiful tomato!

Then I layered a tomato slice, a mozzarella slice and topped it with a basil leaf.  I kept making stacks and then drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper.

A beautiful and delicious way to enjoy the first big tomato of summer.  Mr. Stripey has a low acid content, which means that the sweetness comes out.  It is not a strong or tart tomato, so a simple dish highlights its flavor without drowning it out.

If you decide to grow Mr. Stripey, be sure to not overwater.  They are prone to cracking and have a better taste with less water.

Savor those fresh garden tomatoes... summer is fleeting!