Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Macerated Heirloom Tomato Salad

We’re taking advantage of the last gasps of warm(ish) weather to post our favorite tomato preparation. Though this salad has a few more ingredients than your basic Italian insalata Caprese, the idea is the same: buy the best tomatoes you can—heavy with juice and ripe to the point of softnessand add only what you need to emphasize their incomparable flavor. The only thing better than the taste of an heirloom tomato salad might be the appearance: a cornucopia of sizes, textures, and colors, like little postcards from summer.

A lot of tomato salad recipes focus on limiting the amount of liquid that gets into the dish, but we take the opposite approach. Dress the tomatoes about 10 or 15 minutes before serving, let their juices collect at the bottom of the mixing bowl, and ladle a little over each portion of tomatoes at the table. The liquid is ineffable—a shot of pure tomato flavor to tide you over until next summer.

Macerated Heirloom Tomato Salad

Cooking Time

20 minutes


4–6 summer eulogists

Chef's knife
Paring knife
Cutting board
Mixing bowl

2 lbs. assorted heirloom tomatoes
1 small shallot, very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher or sea salt
Black pepper
1 small handful scallion greens or chives, very thinly sliced
1 large handful basil, picked from stems and cut into a fine chiffonade (reserve a few small, pretty leaves for garnish)

1. Cut tomatoes into large wedges, varying sizes slightly to create visual contrast. Using the tip of a paring knife, remove any remnants of the tough core from each wedge.

2. Combine tomatoes, shallot, vinegar, olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and black pepper to taste in mixing bowl. Gently toss to coat tomatoes with dressing. Let macerate at room temperature until a substantial amount of tomato liquid has accumulated at bottom of bowl, 10–15 minutes.

3. Carefully toss tomatoes with scallion greens and sliced basil. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve in small bowls, garnished with reserved basil leaves and drizzled generously with tomato liquid.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE tomato salads during summer. Found heirloom tomatoes at Ralphs for 1.99/lb a month ago. Beautiful!