Traverse City Record-Eagle

August 23, 2012

'Locally Grown' recipes

From "Locally Grown: Portraits of Artisanal Farms from America's Heartland"

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We have been making this recipe since we began growing heirloom tomatoes. At the first sign of fall or a cool day, this is the first recipe we turn to.-- Dave Dyrek, owner of Leaning Shed Farm in Berrien Springs, Mich.

1 c. plus 3 T. olive oil, divided

15 heirloom tomatoes

3ˆ'4 cloves garlic

A few sprigs fresh oregano or thyme

1ˆ'3 T. balsamic vinegar

1ˆ'3 T. kosher salt

1ˆ'3 T. sugar

Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Pour 3 tablespoons of the oil in the pan. Cut the tomatoes in half and place them into the pan and gently toss them in the oil. Arrange them in a single layer and turn cut sides up.

Thinly slice the garlic cloves and scatter them over the tomato halves. Sprinkle with the oregano, vinegar, salt, and sugar. Pour the remaining oil over the tomatoes.

Bake on the center of the oven at 350°F for 3 hours. Serve warm as a side dish or on slices of baguette as an appetizer.

Store tomatoes, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or frozen for up 2 months; leftover oil can be refrigerated and used for vinaigrettes.


By Sean Sanders, chef and owner of Browntrout, a restaurant in Chicago

4-6 servings

When Dave first started at the farmers' market, I walked in and the wind was blowing south and I could smell his tomatoes. That was one of the first things that drew me to Dave — the fact that I could smell his tomatoes from 30 feet away, and I said, "I gotta buy this guy's tomatoes." — Sean Sanders

Fresh cheese curds


1 c. all-purpose flour

Coarsely ground sea salt


1½ c. sourdough bread cubes (¼-inch cubes)

Mild extra-virgin olive oil

1 c. vegetable oil

2ˆ'3 lbs. heirloom tomatoes

Aged balsamic vinegar (choose one that is little thick and syrupy)

Fresh basil leaves, torn into ½-inch pieces

Cover cheese curds with buttermilk and soak right before you fry them. Place flour in a bowl, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.

For croutons, heat a little of the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat.

Add bread cubes, sauté until golden brown, season to taste with salt and pepper, and drain on paper towels. Set aside.

Heat the vegetable oil in a medium high-sided saucepan to 350°F. Drain cheese curds and coat well with the flour, shaking off any excess. Fry curds in oil about 1 minute, or until lightly golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Slice tomatoes and assemble on plates. Season to taste with salt and pepper, drizzle with vinegar and olive oil. Sprinkle with basil, top with croutons and fried cheese curds, and serve immediately.