Monday, August 15, 2011

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Balsamic Glaze

I love tomatoes in August, especially organic heirloom tomatoes in any shape, size or color.  From now until the end of September, I will eat heirloom's practically everyday.  I tried growing my own for three seasons in large pots on my patio, but I was unsuccessful and so I gave up.  I'm not certain if it was due to the weather, the soil, or the fact that they weren't planted in the ground, but my yield was not bountiful and the plants had numerous diseases.  Oh well, at $3.99 per pound for organic, I'll let someone else who has more experience do the growing for me because these tomatoes were delicious!

This is a beautiful salad and the flavors are really wonderful too.  We used to serve a similar salad like this when I worked at the restaurant and I remember that it was our best selling salad during the summer.  Of course, if you had 15 orders for it on a Friday night dinner rush, it wasn't that popular for the line cooks because the plating required you to take your time.

Balsamic Glaze:

1 cup good quality aged Balsamic vinegar
1-2 tbsp agave syrup

  • In a small sauce pan over medium heat, cook balsamic vinegar and agave for about 15 minutes until it coats the back of a spoon.  You want it to be the consistency of molasses so be careful not to overcook it because as it cools, it will thicken and you want it to be pourable.
Salad Ingredients:

1-2 pounds organic heirloom tomatoes, assorted colors (about 1-1 1/2 tomatoes per person depending on size).
1 organic fennel bulb, tough outer layer removed and shaved or thinly sliced
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and quartered
1/4 cup organic fresh basil leaves, chiffonade 
2 cups organic baby wild arugula
Juice of 1 lemon
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • Slice a small layer off the top and bottom of each tomato so that they can stand/stack up.  Then quarter or half the tomatoes depending on size.
  • Toss tomatoes with a little lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper and arrange on plate.  
  • Toss arugula and fennel with a little lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper and place on top of tomatoes.
  • Drizzle plate with balsamic glaze and garnish with Kalamata olives and basil.

No comments:

Post a Comment