Heirloom Tomato WeekIt’s heirloom tomato season! The folks over at Visa and the chefs of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association wisely recognized that’s reason enough to celebrate. Beginning next week over 52 restaurants and chefs are putting together special themed tasting menus including Chris Cosentino of Incanto, Bruce Hill of Bix, Traci des Jardins of Jardinière and Acme Chop House, and Craig Stoll of Delfina. Pay for your meal with a Visa Signature card you will also receive a tomato commemorative book, including special recipes from the chefs and restaurants involved in the event.


What: Heirloom Tomato Week

When: August 14-24 plus a tasting event August 7-9 at Union Square.

Where: Selected San Francisco restaurants

How: Dine at any of the participating restaurants, by booking at OpenTable

Why: Let’s put that nasty salmonella outbreak behind us once and for all, and enjoy the pure pleasure of tomatoes again.

Here’s an example of an heirloom tasting menu with wine pairing, from one of the participating restaurants, Plumpjack Cafe :

Heirloom tomato salad
Tarragon Aioli, Banyuls Vinegar, Onion Marmalade

Cambiata Albarino 2007 Monterey

Seared day boat scallops
Golden Tomato Vinaigrette, Savoy Spinach

Dom. de la Chapelle Macon Soultre Pouilly 2007 France

Tomato braised kurobuta pork shoulder
Pimenton de Padron, Summer Squash, Moroccan Black Olives

Lagerla Rosso di Montalcino 2004 Italy

Selection of cheeses
Heirloom Tomato Condiments, Toasted Peasant Bread

Lustau “Emilin” Moscatel Sherry Spain

Tasting menu is $45 and optional wine pairing $21

Want to enjoy the best Summer produce at home? Here’s a recipe adapted from Barilla Pasta.

Summer Spaghetti

1 lb whole grain spaghetti
2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 small white onion, finely chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
2 cups zucchini, diced
2 cups yellow squash, diced
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
Salt and black pepper, to taste
4 fresh basil leaves, torn

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet. Using the side of a knife, gently press and peel the garlic and sauté in skillet for 1 minute, or until slightly brown. Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add bell pepper, zucchini, yellow squash and sauté until heated but not completely cooked. Add tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and sauté for 2 additional minutes.

Drain pasta, add to skillet and toss with basil before serving.

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