Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer, so this week we're scooping up all the tomatoes we can before they give way to persimmons and pomegranates.
We love that tomatoes, like grapes, can actually prefer a hotter, longer growing season -- especially varieties like Momotaro, Fantastic, and Celebrity. There are some fascinating heirlooms that peak in late summer, too, including Marizol Purple, Kalman's Hungarian Pink, and Zapotec Ribbed or "pleated" — the ones with those wonderful pumpkin-like grooves down the side.
High temperatures meant most of us were still looking for ways to avoid the oven this week, but we couldn't resist Food and Wine's recipe for Honey Tomato Bruschetta with Ricotta, especially given you can slow roast the tomatoes up to two days ahead (and in the middle of the night if you want). To balance the creamy ricotta, we recommend trying it with one of our sparkling wines.
For another creative take on bruschetta, check out this "BLT" Bruschetta from the Cooking Channel in which pancetta replaces bacon and arugula plays the part of lettuce. Or, you could make this Smoked Summer Tomato Basil Butter and spread it onto some freshly grilled bread and corn on the cob.
Since we're on the topic of unusual bruschettas, we also wanted to sneak in a mention of Food Wishes' Strawberry Goat Cheese Bruschetta. This dish doesn't use tomatoes, but it does celebrate another late summer crop — strawberries — and the way the sweet berries play against the creamy, tangy goat cheese and smoky, crunchy grilled bread is absolutely heavenly, especially when paired with some J Cuvée 20 Brut.
Mix and match these unusual bruschettas to send out summer in style.