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Monday, September 17, 2007

Heirloom Tomato Salad

Aren't those the most gorgeous tomatoes you've ever seen? I looooove tomatoes. Well, if you remember last spring I once purchased 10 pounds of tomatoes, which I turned into Cobb salad, sinh to ca chua (Vietnamese tomato shake), and bruschetta. And of course more recently, fried green tomatoes.

Last year I grew 10 tomato plants but didn't even harvest that many tomatoes because 3-inch long caterpillars the size of my finger ate them all! Including a Mr. Stripey and a lemon Better Boy. The heirloom tomatoes I've been seeing at the farmers' market are $4 a pound. Crazy! So when I saw this small basket at Trader Joe's for $2something, I snatched it up. And since I wanted to really taste the tomatoes, I decided a simple, simple dressing works best. Of course, you can do this with any variety of tomato you wish.

Heirloom Tomato Salad

You'll need:
Tomatoes, however many you wish
Basil, sliced into small strips
A few turns of freshly ground black pepper
A few drizzles of olive oil
A few drizzles of balsamic vinegar

Slice the tomatoes into quarters or however big you want the chunks. Chiffonade the basil leaves. I used a pair of kitchen shears for ease and just snipped away. Add drizzles of balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and a few turns of freshly ground black pepper.

You can eat this warm or let it chill in the fridge. Mop up extra juices with fresh French bread.

How did each tomato taste? The green ones tasted of green unripened tomatoes but were a bit sweeter. The yellow one was rather bland. The dark wine-colored tomato was really dark in flavor. But the mix of all of them together gave this salad contrasting flavors even though they were all the same item. I loved it. I hope you do too.



  1. Regarding your heirloom salad... start moving away from balsamic vinegar. Try the chianti based red wine vinegars or Cider vinegars.

  2. Anon,
    I have a very nice merlot vinegar and cider vinegars, but you know what? I loooove balsamic vinegar. And I love balsamic vinegar with tomatoes. Cider and red wine vinegars don't have the depth that I prefer when I'm eating tomatoes. If you don't like it, you're perfectly free to omit it from your cooking.

  3. Love your blog. Thanks.


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