Chow Town

July 31, 2014

Abundance of heirloom tomatoes prompts market day at Foo’s

Kurlbaum’s Heirloom Tomatoes will team with Riverview Garden Center to sell tomatoes and other produce Saturday at Foo’s Fabulous Frozen Custard in Leawood.

Chow Town

The daily dish on Kansas City's food and drink scene

This weekend will be a great weekend to be a tomato lover in the Kansas City area.

Kurlbaum’s Heirloom Tomatoes will team with Riverview Garden Center to have a special market day on Saturday at Leawood’s Foo’s Fabulous Frozen Custard.

Kurlbaum’s Heirloom Tomatoes typically sells its tomatoes directly to restaurants, said Liz Kurlbaum. But as the growing season peaks, there’s an abundance of tomatoes and Kurlbaum wanted to find a way to share the bounty with the general public.

“This is the first time selling for a market day,” she said. “Previously, I would invite people to come to my house. I’ve done that the last 10 years. It’s gotten to a point … that maybe I needed to find a different venue.”

So she teamed with Riverview Garden Center to sell the locally grown tomatoes and produce.

The Market Day will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Foo’s Fabulous Frozen Custard at 9421 Mission Road in Leawood.

Meanwhile, the Brookside Farmers’ Market will have it’s Tomato Festival from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

The market, which is at 63rd Street and Wornall Road, is partnering with Slow Food Kansas City for the festival.

Chef Jasper Mirabile Jr., a leader in the Slow Food Kansas City group, will have a cooking demonstration and lecture from 9 to 10:30 a.m.

The market will ask people to vote for the “Ugliest Tomato” and the “Most Magnificent Tomato,” as well as weighing for the “Most Massive Tomato,” according to the market’s Facebook page.

With tomato season upon us, the hard part might be finding what to do with them. Kurlbaum, who also is known as the “Tomato Lady,” had these suggestions:

Goat Cheese Olive Tapenade Tomatoes

1 heirloom tomato, sliced thickly

Goat cheese, sliced thinly

Olive tapenade

Balsamic vinegar

Take one thick slice of heirloom tomato and spread a slice of goat cheese on top. Top with olive tapenade and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

Fried Green Tomatoes

For the fried tomatoes:

4 green tomatoes, sliced 1⁄2-inch thick

Egg, beaten


Oil for frying

For the sauce:

1/4 of onion, chopped

1/2 red pepper, chopped

Oil or butter for sauteing

1 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon dried mustard

1-2 teaspoon cumin

Pinch cayenne pepper

1 clove garlic

Salt and Pepper to taste.

To prepare: In this order, dip tomatoes in flour, egg and then breadcrumbs. Fry the tomatoes in oil until golden brown.

To prepare sauce: Saute the onion and red pepper in oil or butter and then add them to the mayonnaise. Add mustard, cumin, cayenne pepper and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with fried green tomatoes.

Baked Heirloom Tomatoes With Cheese

2 tablespoon olive oil

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1 medium onion chopped

1-3⁄4 pounds heirloom tomatoes cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces

3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

1 cup (packed) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup freshly grated Romano cheese

Chopped fresh basil leaves (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 11-inch-by-7-inch baking dish. Heat the two tablespoons of oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add onion and saute until soft, about six minutes. Add tomatoes, reduce heat to medium-low and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Mix in chives. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer tomato mixture to prepared baking dish and sprinkle with grated cheeses. Bake until cheese melts and begins to turn golden, about 20 minutes. Serve as a side, on a baguette slice, a topping for fish or omelet filling.

Source: Bon Appetit, July 2006

To reach Robert A. Cronkleton, call 816-234-4261 or send email to

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