I hesitate posting a recipe like this, because it seems so obvious, and to tell the truth, the measurements are pretty loose and might not totally qualify as a recipe. But I’m doing it anyway, since sometimes we just need a recipe to make something as simple as an heirloom tomato salad.
Tomatoes are magical summer treats, and they’re especially full of Vitamins C, A and K. And their flavor now just can’t be beat! This salad can be made with any juicy, ripe tomatoes, but I prefer big heirloom tomatoes for their wonderful colors and strange shapes. Plus you’re supporting the kind of agriculture we need to maintain a happier earth when you get lovely, naturally grown, gmo-free heirloom varieties.
I’m in personal need of healthy fats in my life right now, so even though the tomatoes are super juicy, I like adding avocado and a little drizzle of olive oil, but this salad will be equally delicious without one or both of those ingredients. The only fancy ingredient here, really, is the balsamic reduction, which adds a nice sweet pungency. Balsamic reduction is easy to make at home, though I’m sure some specialty shops might carry them–if you’ve never had it, think of it as a thick, sweet balsamic syrup. You can make your own by heating balsamic vinegar on low heat for an hour or so, or until the volume is reduced by about three-fourths. I cool it, then put it in a squeeze bottle. It will change your life to drizzle this stuff on your food, honestly!
The measurements here are pretty loose, because you can adjust it easily to your liking – it’s a forgiving salad. And while we’re talking summertime salads, I have to put a good word in for Joanna’s Texas Caviar (pictured up above) from Yellow Rose Recipes, which I made the other night for a barbeque with friends. I’ve made it countless times and even wrote her a love email about it once. So simple and so good! If you have this book, make it as soon as possible. And also make this salad:
Heirloom Tomato, Avocado and Basil Salad
2-3 pounds of heirloom tomatoes (I used 2 bigger-than-fist-sized tomatoes), chopped into bite size pieces
1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and chopped
salt to taste
extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
1/4 cup thinly sliced onion (sweet if you can get ahold of one)
small handful fresh basil leaves, chopped or torn, plus additional for garnish
balsamic reduction for drizzling
freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a medium bowl, combine the heirloom tomatoes and avocado chunks with a little bit of salt, and toss gently to combine. Drizzle with some olive oil, layer on the onion slices and scatter basil on top. Criss-cross a pattern of balsamic reduction just before serving, and grind fresh black pepper on top. Enjoy as is, or over fresh greens.
Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer so far!