When Michael and I first started dating years ago, I had a few pots of tomatoes and peppers on my Chicago balcony, and I was so proud of them. Then Michael showed me his tomato plants, 12-foot Mr. Stripeys in his front yard. He had told me how tall the plants had grown, but I didn’t even believe him until I set eyes on them. It was a great year for tomatoes, and that was my first taste of a sweet Mr. Stripey.
If you’ve never tasted one, you must seek them out at your farmers market. They are heirloom beef tomatoes with low acid, and are great for slicing, salads, and sandwiches. The color varies, with golden shoulders that gradually turn into red at the bottom. If you are growing them in your garden for the first time, you might think they aren’t ripe because of the yellow tops, but they are indeed ripe. When you slice them you’ll see stripes of red running through the golden middle. And be prepared for juice! These are classic juicy tomatoes that you will love. I like to eat one for lunch with just a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper. They are also tasty stuffed with your favorite fillings.
Here are a few of our favorite recipes with Mr. Stripey tomatoes. The orzo salad is a delicious stuffing for fresh, ripe tomatoes.