While there is nothing better than a ripe, juicy, sweet in season tomato
, that season is all too fleeting. Then rest of the year, at home and at work, we use canned tomoatoes for our stews, sauces and salsas. Muir Glen tomatoes frequently come out on top of consumer taste tests and we are fans of their organic growing practices and BPA free canning. So when they invited us to come cook with chef Harold Dieterle and taste their Muir Glen Reserve Tomato line, we were intrigued.
Reserve is more a term that you hear with bourbons or wine than produce, but with the same sense of honoring varietals and terroir, each year Muir Glen chooses a tomato varietal to grow on a specially selected 13-acre plot of land on a Muir Glen California farm. In 2013 they choose the the Halley, which was one of the first varieties ever planted by Muir Glen.
"I use Muir Glen at home, it's is my go-to lasagne tomato" explained Dieterle, winner of Top Chef Season 1 and chef/owner of three West Village restaurants: Perilla, Kin Shop and The Marrow. ""It's important to me to source the best-tasting ingredients grown in a way that matches my personal passion and values," he emphasized as he took us through the prep for three different tomato preparations, which were riffs on dishes that he serves at his restaurants — Sicilian Style Calamari Toast, Crispy Prawns With Tomato Nam Prik, and some crazy good Spicy Duck Enchiladas with Tomato Mole.