Tomato Toppers

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We have finally made it back to that delicious time of year! The Salem Farmer’s Market kicked off a few weeks ago (it's right around the corner from us!) and our customers have been donning bags of bright green lettuce, spears of asparagus, ramps, fresh herbs and all sorts of other tasty produce. But for this newsletter installment, I want to focus on tomatoes. Cheese and tomatoes are besties all year in sauce over pasta, but now we can get those fresh tomatoes and we don’t want to mess them up! While this is jumping the gun a little bit, hothouse tomatoes are already available and even if you want to wait for that perfect tomato out of the ground, at least you’ll be very prepared. Mozzarella is a classic, of course, and the one we get from Luca at Wolf Meadow Farm is wonderful, but I want to talk about unexpected combinations in case you feel like branching out from the usual Caprese.

Epoisses– This super gooey French cheese is an excellent start for anyone who wants to dabble in funky cheeses. The cheese has a biscuity note, too, so Epoisses and tomatoes together taste like cheese, tomatoes, and bread in one bite. It is also nice and salty, which perfectly seasons the tomato. Well, a crack of black pepper wouldn’t hurt, but that’s definitely just for extra points.

Après Soleil – An alpine cheese from Switzerland, Après Soleil is fruity, nutty and smooth, pleasantly contracting with the acidic, juicy tomato. I would love to make a tomato melt with this cheese on same crusty seeded bread.

Harbourne Blue– At some point, I want to write a newsletter on this cheese because it’s cool and definitely unique. It is a goat’s milk blue cheese from England with a peppery bite, a little salty, a little sweet, but very clean and fresh tasting. I picture this crumbled over slices of tomatoes with a drizzle of olive oil, hopefully being eaten outside with some grilled meat and/or grilled bread…Now I’m drooling.

Yay! I’m so happy it’s summer and we get to start discussing things like in season tomatoes and cheese!

For the love of cheese and all that pretty produce,