Pic-a-nic in the Park

Sarah and I have been planning on taking a nice afternoon and going on a picnic in Penn Treaty Park. [where:19125] We had discussed just bringing sandwiches (boring) or a roast chicken (time consuming and heavy). Sarah had the idea to do bruschetta because we have all of these awesome heirloom tomatoes from Greensgrow Farm in our neighborhood.

So, I seeded and chopped about six tomatoes of varying sizes (about four cups’ worth), tossed in three finely chopped cloves of garlic, the juice of one lemon, a quarter cup of good extra virgin olive oil, a splash of rice wine vinegar, some fresh basil and thyme from the herb garden, a handful or two of shredded mozzarella, and salt and pepper to taste. This went into the fridge while I grilled some olive oil-rubbed bread. I used some Italian baguette-sized bread cut on the bias to maximize surface area. The bread went on a cooling rack so they would stay nice and firm.

We packed up the bread and the bruschetta topping along with some fruit and cheese that we also bought at Greeensgrow and headed to the park on a beautiful late afternoon on Labor Day.

The complexity of the flavors in the heirloom tomatoes was a wonderful change from the standard red tomato. It had tart green finger tomatoes, semi-sweet reds and this awesomely sweet yellow tomato (it made Sarah and me remember that tomatoes are fruits). The bruschetta was visually appealing as well. The varying colors combined with the cheese and herbs excited the eyes as well as the taste buds.  I wish we had a camera so I could show you the beautiful colors.

We decided that this would be our picnic staple from now on.

This is, of course, vegetarian and it could be gluten free eaten with some GF bread. Also, I know you are saying, “This sounds yummy, but heirlooms are so pricey!” One, I would say that it is worth it for a time-to-time treat. And two, if you live in Philly, get yourself over to Greensgrow Farm on Cumberland Street in Fishtown/Port Richmond. They are only $1.75 per pound there, as opposed to the normal four to five dollars a pound most places that you go. We are won to the place and we plan to buy a share or half share next year so we can have their great produce all of the time.


5 Responses to “Pic-a-nic in the Park”

  1. jillsommer Says:

    Heirlooms are worth the money. They actually taste like a tomato! You made my mouth water with the explanation of your bruschetta. I need to run right out and make some!

  2. therealpotato Says:

    They really are amazing! I thought for years that I didn’t like tomatoes until we started buying these. Now I’m growing them on the back balcony! Seriously, I really wish I had a photo, because the colors were unbelievable. Yum.

    We used the leftovers as a topping for tempeh tacos, and the garlic got really concentrated. Soo good.

  3. Fee Says:

    Wow, what a delight.
    Do you grow heirlooms in a pot on your balcony and if so, is it a big, like half a barrel planter?
    Also, if they’re in a pot, do you bring them in or do you just let them die over the winter and replant in the Spring?

  4. jcleffie Says:

    We grow on heirloom plant on the porch in a big clay planter. This is the first year we’ve had one but I’d imagine that we would just buy a new one next year. The one on the porch is a small red tomato. But every farmers market has great heirlooms right now. We have been buying a couple pounds every week or so.

  5. Fee Says:

    Thank you, Joe! Yes, I run to Gentilies Market in Newtown Sq and they always have fabulous produce.

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