Note: I was sent vinegar from Lindera Farms, including their Ramp Vinegar, in order to write this post. Opinions are mine alone.
Hands down, my favorite summer produce are tomatoes. Peak tomato season in the Philadelphia area begins just after July 4th and continues through mid-October, so it is the perfect time to share a recipe highlighting tomatoes!
Luckily, tomato season has coincided with the opportunity to try out a bunch of yummy vinegar from Lindera Farms, a small artisan vinegar producer in Virginia.
Lindera Farms takes locally and sustainably sources agricultural products and ferments them into wines which are then aged into vinegar. They have a wide selection of vinegars (nearly 30 types!) and pantry goods, including soy sauce, hot sauce, and syrups.
The ingredients from Lindera Farms are raised in a non-interventionist process, meaning they don’t introduce anything to the growing process. The process is subject to the whims of the environment completely; think Darwinian farming. The positives of this practice are that you get these stronger, more resilient, more flavorful fruits, herbs, and flowers with no carbon footprint or residual impact to the environment.
The results speak for themselves. The few vinegars I’ve sampled so far all have incredibly different flavors, acidity, and finish than what you can typically find in your supermarket. For example:
- The Gardener Vinegar came about through Lindera Farms’ continued efforts to curb food waste. They collect organic summer vegetables from small local farms to make a complex and vegetal vinegar. The result is a very high acidic, savory vinegar with notes of cucumber, tomatoes, peppers and leeks. Lindera Farms suggests using it with salad greens, summer veggies, fish, or poultry, or even adding it to your favorite Bloody Mary recipe (I love this idea!)
- Lindera Farms’ Apple Cider Vinegar is made with organic Virginian Heirloom Apples, and then is aged with applewood, adding a smooth, smoky finish. The Apple Cider Vinegar has a medium acidity, and medium-low sweetness, and can be used anywhere you’d use traditional apple cider vinegar, or just for probiotic consumption. (I used it in a pulled pork recipe, and it was fantastic)
- I used the Ramp Vinegar in the recipe below. Ramps are a garlicky wild onion, and the ones in this vinegar are foraged in the woods of the Shenandoah valley. The result is a savory vinegar with notes of garlic, ramps, and onions with medium acidity. Lindera Farms suggests using it as a substitute anywhere you might use lemon and garlic in a dish. (I recently used it in my Italian Pasta Salad)
I have yet to tap into the other Lindera Farms vinegars, but I’m sure they are going to be just as delicious.
Traditional bruschetta uses balsamic vinegar, but I thought the garlic/onion flavors in Lindera Farms’ Ramp Vinegar would enhance the fresh flavors of the tomatoes and basil.
On to the recipe!
Ingredients (serves 4 as an appetizer):
- 4 plum (roma) tomatoes, evenly diced
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped, plus more for garnish
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon Lindera Farms Ramp Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- Italian bread, sliced and toasted for serving
To make the bruschetta, prepare your ingredients and add the tomatoes, basil, garlic cloves, salt, and pepper to a bowl.
Drizzle in the Ramp Vinegar, and olive oil, tossing to combine.
Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, or up to overnight.
When ready to serve, slice the bread and toast. (I just broil for about 1 minute on each side).
Scoop the bruschetta on top of each slice of toasted bread, top with more basil, and serve.
This is so refreshing!
The Ramp Vinegar adds a hint of oniony flavor and a touch of acidity while still letting the fresh tomato and basil flavors shine through.
As I mentioned above, Lindera Farms has a ton of different vinegars and other products that are worth checking out, so be sure to head over to their website!