You wouldn't want to bite into Aunt Dorothy's gold bracelet or Grandma's handmade quilt, but when it comes to tomatoes, eating an heirloom is a very different story. During the past decade, heirloom tomatoes, red, green, orange, pink, purple, mottled and striped, charmingly asymmetrical, have taken center stage, reminding us of how real, non-mass-market veggies can taste. Mimi Luebbermann's The Heirloom Tomato Cookbook celebrates our edible inheritance with temptingly lush photographs, advice on growing and cultivating your own tomatoes (beware, they can become a delicious addiction), tips on choosing and storing them, and pairing different varieties with different wines. Most important, 50 recipes showcase their sun-ripened, essence-of-summer goodness. Toast the bounty of the season with a Roasted Heirloom Tomato Bloody Mary while munching on multicultural Indian-spiced Orange Tomato, Chili and Coconut Bruschetta. Sauce homemade Ricotta Gnocchi with Heirloom Tomatoes and Basil, try some Tomato-Ginger Chutney and finish off with refreshing Heirloom Tomato Sorbet.

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