THE DISH ON EATING LOCAL TOMATOES
3 ways you can enjoy discovering local tomatoes in your area!
1. Find Tomatoes at your Local Market
Not only is eating local tomatoes good for you, they are also good for the environment, and taste so delicious! You can find tomatoes all across Arizona. Here are some of the local farmers markets where you can find tomatoes in your area.
Phoenix Public Market
Open since 2005, this open-air market transforms an urban parking lot in downtown Phoenix into a colorful bazaar. Get your fill of produce such as kale, pea shoots, potatoes, squash and cucumbers from growers such as AZ Living Greens, One Windmill Farm and Circle Key Farms. There’s also spicy sauce from Los Muertos Salsa; mesquite blossom honey from Sun Valley Bees and humane snacks from Fluffy Vegans. There are weekly cooking demonstrations, too.
Details: Saturday Morning 8AM TO 12PM – 721 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. – phxpublicmarket.com.
Vincent’s Saturday Market
James Beard Award-winning chef Vincent Guerithault’s influence touches every corner of this European-style market. Shop for buttery baked goods, imported olive oil, mustard and local produce from Duncan’s Trading Company. After browsing, dine on made-to-order omelets and crepes, pizzas, pastas and chocolate desserts. Wine and champagne are sold by the glass, bottle and case.
Details: Saturdays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. through early May. 3930 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix. vincentsoncamelback.com.
To see a whole list of local markets click here!
2. Eat Tomatoes at your Local Restaurant
Many local restaurants endorse sourcing out some of the best ingredients, but do they use local ingredients? Here is one such restaurant we have discovered that uses local tomatoes in this wonderful dish by Chef Justin Beckett called Roasted Tomatoes. Below is the information to find out more on this location and restaurant.
Established in 2010.
Chef Justin Beckett has opened a dozen upscale restaurants around the Valley, but at his namesake Beckett’s Table, he brings together what matters to him most: family, friends and honest, incredible food. With considerable help from his partners and longtime friends Scott and Katie Stephens and his wife Michelle, Beckett has created an irresistible hangout for his discerning Arcadia/Biltmore neighbors, people who expect comfort and sophistication in equal measure and get it here. The same grounded approach is evident on the menu, which emphasizes seasonal American cooking in dishes such as shrimp, sausage & super creamy local girts, BT signature fork tender short ribs and pan seared sea scallops . Factor in the inviting bar, roomy patio and community table, and it gets even easier to follow the Beckett’s Table mandate: Come Together.
Location: 3717 East Indian School Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85018
To find more local restaurants sourcing local ingredients click here!
Recipes change all the time and viewers should check with all restaurants to find out what’s on the menu currently.
3. Learn a Recipe to Make it Yourself
Want to discover how to make this local tomato dish? Watch the video on just how easy it is to bring Farm to your table.
Chef Justin Beckett's Roasted Tomatoes
- Roasted Tomatoes
- Marinate/dressing for the tomatoes – makes 3.5 cups
- 1 cup Champagne Vinegar
- 2 cup Olive Oil Blend
- 1/4 cup Shallots -minced
- 1/2 cup Honey
- 1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
- 2 Tablespoons Sugar
- Combine vinegar, honey, mustard, and sugar in a blender.
- Slowly drizzle oil to form an emulsification.
- Once all oil is in add the shallots, SEASON WITH SALT AND PEPPER.
- Wash tomatoes
- Slice tomatoes in half horizontally using a sharp serrated knife
- Place into a large mixing bowl
- (optional) Chop fresh herbs and add to the bowl
- Drizzle the dressing over the tomatoes and toss to coat them evenly
- Place a piece of wax/parchment paper on a cookie sheet (this will act as a barrier to help with the cleaning process
- Place a wire rack on top of the sheet
- Line the tomatoes on the racks edge to edge
- Make sure that all the cut ends of the tomatoes are facing up. this will allow them to retain all the juices and flavor
- Season with salt and fresh ground pepper
- Bake at 225-250 degrees for approximately 3-4 hours.
- You will need to take visual clues for doneness but the shriveling of the tomato or the tiny bits of caramelization or char on the edges
- Some tomatoes may need to be removed before other based on location in the oven or size of the tomato.
- Remove tomatoes as they finish and reserve at room temperature until all tomatoes are finished baking
The Dish Recommendation
I like to us Campari tomatoes because of the size and how tender they are. I find them at the farmers market from McClendon Select
These oven dried tomatoes are ideal to cook with in soups, stews, sautes.
They are great to chop up and use in place of sun dried tomatoes.
They are great to use as a topper for a bruschetta or savory toast.
They are great pureed and turned into a rich tomato sauce, or even mixed with garlic and herbs to make a oven dried tomato “pesto”.
They can be stored in olive oil, chilled, and used later as a garnish or topping.
At Beckett’s Table we use them in our super cream grits with sautéed shrimp and andouille sausage.
LOCAL TOMATOES 101
Want to learn more?
Local tomatoes are in season from May until November. In the Phoenix area, there are two growing seasons: mid-February until the end of May and September until mid-November. Tomatoes need a well-drained, loamy soil in which to flourish. They grow best in moist soil and when the temperatures remain steadily in the 70 to 80-degree range. Tomatoes will begin to ripen from anywhere between 20 and 30 days. The best way to tell if a tomato is ripe is the density. Unripe, green tomatoes feel hard, and they have no give when you squeeze them. Ripe tomatoes are firm, but have a little bit of give when you squeeze. Color is another indication of how ripe a tomato is. Most ripe tomatoes are a deep red shade, but depending on the variety of tomato, they can also be yellow, green, or purple.
For best storage practice, leave your fresh, local tomatoes on the counter in a basket if they are not ripe yet. Storing local tomatoes in the refrigerator can make them lose flavor and consistency. Since there are no added preservatives in local tomatoes, there is no need to refrigerate them!
There are endless ways to enjoy local tomatoes. Local tomatoes are packed with nutrients and flavor. They can be eaten raw with just a sprinkle of salt and some olive oil. However, most people choose to prepare tomatoes in more elaborate ways such as side dishes or sauces. When it comes to purchasing local tomatoes, you do not have to worry about excessive chemicals. Just remember to rinse your tomatoes in water before consuming or cooking them since there may be some dirt from the farm left on the outer skin.
Many people wonder about the benefits of buying local produce. There is no shortage of research out there that explains that buying local supports a healthy lifestyle, a sustainable environment, and a strong economy. When purchasing local tomatoes from your neighborhood farmers market, you are making an active choice to know where your food is coming from. With local farms across Arizona, you can be assured that your produce is being taken care of from the seed to the market stand.