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.
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.
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.