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David Lissner
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More tomato feasts in Chicagoland

Scoozi's heirloom tomato salad

Scoozi's heirloom tomato salad

We’re crazy for tomatoes this month! Here are a few more tempting tomato dishes on offer, as local restaurants use the fresh harvest in everything from BLTs to pizzas.

  • Agio Italian Bistro in Palatine offers a variety of dishes featuring locally grown tomatoes hand-selected by owner Joe Barrutia at the Palatine Farmers’ Market in Palatine. Signature dishes include a bruschetta trio with classic tomato pesto, goat cheese topped with sun-dried tomato and shrimp and roasted vegetable ($10); insalata caprese, sliced tomatoes topped with fresh mozzarella, basil, oregano, olive oil and a balsamic reduction ($8); linguini gambretto diavalo, parmesan crusted shrimp and fresh chopped tomatoes sautred in spicy garlic-basil sauce ($21); and wild-caught North Atlantic salmon served over a chilled salad of cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion with creme fraiche ($21).

  • Learn all about growing and using classic tomato varieties when the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe hosts Heirloom Tomato Weekend, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 25 and 26. The event offers tomato tours and demonstrations, and tomato products for sale. Many varieties of heirloom tomatoes will be on display in the garden, along with information on the history of tomatoes, how to save heirloom tomato seeds, preserving your tomato harvest and growing in a home garden.

  • Chicago q on the Gold Coast highlights Chef Lee Ann Whippen’s fried green tomatoes breaded in panko crumbs and seasoned with “Pig Powder” dry rub and fresh parsley ($7.50) and the baby greens salad topped with grape tomatoes smoked for 15 minutes at 225 degrees over hickory and applewood ($7.25).

  • Osteria Via Stato in River North hosts an heirloom tomato dinner at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28. Chef David DiGregorio’s four-course dinner, including wine parings, is $68.

  • Quay Restaurant & Bar in Streeterville promotes a special heirloom tomato pizza with fromage blanc, purple basil, smoked mozzarella and truffle oil, $5 at lunch and dinner every Monday in August, as well as weekly tomato specials featuring herbs and microgreens from Chef Dan Marquis’ Mill Roads Farm in Sheffield, Ill. Specials include heirloom tomato gazpacho with cucumber salsa, lemon and parsley pistou ($7); roasted heirloom tomatoes with shaved prosciutto, watermelon, gorgonzola, broken balsamic ($9); and pan-seared branzino with heirloom tomatoes, red kamatsuna greens, Chinese eggplant, shaved fennel, Thai basil and dashi broth ($24).

  • August, Tomato Month at Scoozi in River North, focuses on heirloom varieties with robust flavor and a wide array of colors. tomato-inspired special menu items include fried green tomatoes with sweet tomato marmalade and goat cheese; heirloom tomato salad with micro basil and market vinaigrette; golden tomato penne amatriciana with crispy pancetta and caramelized onions; oven-roasted halibut with ‘Sungold’ cherry tomatoes and baby zucchini; green tomato and apple pie with cinnamon ice cream and caramel; and ricotta puffs with sweet tomato jam, powdered sugar and mint.

    Scoozi tomato events include a free heirloom-tomato tasting with City Farms from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 17. Every Sunday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. offers free pizza making and a tomato-themed coloring contest for kids. At 4 p.m. Saturday Aug. 18, Chef John Chiakulas demonstrates a three-course summer meal inspired by heirloom tomatoes; tastings and a glass of wine included, $25. The “Tomato Celebration Wine Down,” 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 16, offers 20 wines, tomato-based antipasti including gorgonzola stuffed cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomato and basil bruschetta and margherita pizza, $20.

  • Slice of Chicago in Palatine bakes pizzas highlighting locally grown tomatoes, such as “Uncle Mike’s Pizza” topped with fresh tomato, basil, and garlic ($18.00 for a large) and bruschetta pizza, which features a tomato-basil mix spiced with giardiniera olive oil ($19.00 for a large).