FCS@Home: Heirloom Vegetables

— Written By Marcus McFarland and last updated by Nancie Mandeville
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Heirloom Tomatoes

Have you ever heard of heirloom vegetables? According to our friends at the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension, heirloom vegetables are a vintage variety that may be grown through seeds passed down for generations. They are open-pollinated and may not appear to look like their hybrid cousins they are bred for uniformity.

An example of an heirloom variety is the Cherokee Purple Tomato. It’s a beautiful variety and is known for their beautiful and funky shapes and delicious flavor. You may not be able to find these varieties in your local grocery stores, but they may be available at your local farmers market.

A delicious and simple recipe you can do with Cherokee Purple or any other varieties of heirloom is making a delicious Caprese Salad. You’ll need a nice tomato, 10 basil leaves, slices of fresh mozzarella cheese, and olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Slice the tomatoes and top with chiffonade cut basil leaves and sliced mozzarella cheese. After drizzle with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar and enjoy as an easy side dish!


“Heirlooms Vegetables” – Center for Crop Diversification Crop Profile – The University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Cooperative Extension Service