Monday, October 17, 2011

Grilled Heirloom Tomato Flatbread

They say it takes 7 to 10 exposures of a new food to acquire a taste for it.  There is some validity to the statement based on the fact that I have integrated previously despised foods into my diet through repeated encounters: olives, beets, peppers, spicy foods, cabbage- the list goes on.  Despite that, I have eaten raw tomatoes hundreds of times and I just can't seem to develop a liking for them.  However, when it comes to heirloom tomatoes, my dislike suddenly disappears.  Heirlooms are exceptionally different from processed, mass-marketed, genetically modified, average run of the mill tomatoes.  The amazing colors and flavor not only rationalize my dislike for the inferior tomatoes but become a sensory experience.  I hoard heirlooms into fall until they slowly start to disappear and I have to wait a whole year for their return.

What makes this bite better?
Just as family heirlooms are highly valued, an heirloom tomato is no different.  Known for their inherited unique characteristics, genetic variation and perfect imperfections, heirloom tomatoes are some of the few diverse foods that still exist in a food system that has been genetically drained and homogenized.  In addition to the enjoyment of their complex flavor, eating heirlooms benefits your health and the environment.  Farmers are more inclined to grow heirlooms locally and organically eliminating the risk of pesticide ingestion or consuming foods that have been artificially ripened or transported environmentally threatening distances. Since heirlooms are grown organically and allowed to fully ripen, they have a higher nutrient content.  In general, tomatoes are high in vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, other antioxidants and lycopene.  Lycopene promotes prostate health and immune system function in addition to preventing chronic disease and certain types of cancer.  Heirlooms come in a array of colors which indicate varied nutrient content.  So grab a few in every color!

Grilled Heirloom Tomato Flatbread
1 pre-made pizza dough
Corn meal (or other coarse flour)
Heirloom tomatoes
Olive Oil
Parmigiano Reggiano (optional)

Spread corn meal or flour on a flat surface to prevent dough from sticking and work dough into a flat circle.  Heat a grill to high.  Brush olive oil on one side of the dough and place oiled side down on grill.  Brush olive oil on the remaining side.  Thinly slice one half of an onion and grill the onions until slightly charred.  Slice the heirloom tomatoes and dress with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Once the pizza has developed grill marks, flip to the other side.  Place onion and heirloom tomatoes on the flatbread and close the grill to allow the tomatoes to heat through.  Finish with basil, additional salt and pepper if needed and parmigiano reggiano cheese if desired.  Slice, serve and enjoy.


  1. It looks really healthy and delicious! I will surely love to try it even if that will mean getting a work in a restaurant.

  2. Hey nice looking recipe. Hope it is ok with if we put a link to your recipe here: