Heirloom Vegetable Recipes

By , SparkPeople Blogger
If you’ve eaten out or thumbed through a cooking magazine in the last few months, chances are that you’ve noticed the growing popularity of heirloom vegetables. A friend recently asked me what heirloom produce is and what makes it different. Heirloom vegetables are typically grown on a family farm by seeds that were saved by a previous harvest. Some heirloom seeds are believed to go back to the 1950s before farming became more commercial, efficient and mass produced. Heirloom varietals are full of concentrated flavor because farmers have retained the best seeds year after year, focusing on quality instead of size and appearance. Heirloom tomatoes, beans, squash, and garlic are some of the most popular varieties. You can use heirloom vegetables in any recipes that call for them. We’ve featured 8 recipes that are easy to prepare and taste great too!

Grilled Heirloom Tomato and Goat Cheese Pizza 

Baby Heirloom Tomato and Cucumber Salad

Heirloom Tomato Sauce

Chef Meg's Oven Roasted Tomatoes

Heirloom Tomato Salad (Trillium1204)

Heirloom Tomato and Herb Pasta Salad With Scallops

Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho

Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta


What is your experience with heirloom vegetables? 

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CATNAP6291 5/11/2020
thanks Report
Love heirloom but mine are store bought Report
Great recipes! Report
Heirloom tomatoes one of my favorites Report
thanks for sharing love those tomatoes
Great article! Report
I love eating them just plain... fresh from the garden, still warm from the sun... Report
We actually only grow heirloom tomatoes and we're now expanding to growing other rare heirlooms. (eggplants, beans, melons and winter squash, cucumbers, and carrots) We find their flavor is awesome and I love the fact that I'm growing something that has been passed down since the late 1800's! Report
I do love heirloom tomatoes, but there are other heirloom vegetables and fruits in the world! Apples, pears, squashes, and peppers all come in tons of crazy varieties!

I wish that you had included recipes that called for more sustainably farmed ingredients, too. Heirloom tomatoes are all well and good, but what about where the bread is coming from? The cheeses? Your heirloom tomato doesn't do much if you're encouraging people to use Pillsbury dough and Kraft cheeses, both of which are factory farmed and take advantage of genetically modified grains.

Organic and heirloom means more than just good flavor, it means supporting families and small farms instead of Monsanto and other mega-corporations who pollute and make unethical profits. Report
never though about it Report
More hogwash and bad science. Heirlooom vegetables do not necessarily taste better. Some farmers saved seed for color, size or other characteristics. They were not always saving for taste. Report
My grandfather was gifted some heirloom tomato seeds by his peddler, who brought them from Italy when he came to the US. (Now you know it was a long time ago...when was the last time you saw a peddler who came down the street with a wagon full of fresh grown produce?) Grandpa was quite honored to have received this gift and kept growing those tomatoes for decades. Report
Love the Heirloom tomatoes. My boyfriend had a garden last year they came out great!! Report
I grow Mr. Stripey's I love the taste and the marbel color of the red and yellow Report
I have tried several varieties this summer. My absolute favorite is the Cherokee Purple heirloom tomato. I have also tried the green striped one, and a couple of yellow ones. They were all delicious, and more flavorful that more modern varieties, albeit more expensive. I have found them at my local farmer's market, Wegmans, and Trader Joes. Report
I would just love to try them I think its a SHAME how nutrients and flavour has disappeared from produce.I think personally it contributes to the weight problem - our bodies have to ingest more calories in the hunt for nutrients. Just look at how many calories are in processed foods of any kind as opposed to fruits / vegetables / organic / game meats etc. Report
I've not had good luck with Heirloom tomatoes. Not sure if it's my soil or just me.... Report
Heirlooms have the best flavor! Report
Great information. I'll be asking the vendors about heirloom produce at the next farmer's market. The recipes are so tempting! Report
I love heirloom tomatoes above all others. Great recipe ideas. Report
Love, love, love heirloom tomatoes. So tasty and delicious. And I know they will only be in season a short time so I stuff myself with them while I can. Report
My heirloom tomatoes are the tastiest of all that I grow. I did find that during our 24 day 'over 90 degrees' streak they quit setting new tomatoes so I am glad that I had my Early Girls producing a regular crop. I even have an heirloom cherry called 'chocolate cherry'. These are great halved and tossed with hot pasta. Report
I LOVE heirloom tomatoes ! I think their flavor is absolutely amazing. This year, I tried growing a variety of heirlooms called Cherokee Purples. They have a mauve colored skin, but a rich deep purple meat. marvelous taste. I will say that growing heirlooms is a tricky business because they are a fussy plant that requires a lot of attention. However, they are worth the extra effort.

While my own tomato plants have been kinda sad this season, I've been buying wonderful heirlooms from my local farmers markets. Some things you have to leave to the professionals. LOL !!

Nah, I'll keep trying to grow heirloom tomatoes at home because I love the variety of colors and flavors. I wish the supermarkets would sell more of them. Right now, the only store near me that sells them is Whole Foods. And we know how much they'll cost there. LOL !