Two years ago I wrote about the benefits of eating heirloom tomatoes because they simply “taste like tomatoes.”
Local farmers like Jennifer at Brushy Hill understand the benefits of organic tomatoes that pickup mineral traces grown in soil that is naturally irrigated: rain and well-water. After-all a tomato is 94% water, so it stands to reason that much of the taste of a tomato is actually determined by the source of the water and the soil where it is grown.
Each Saturday at the Greenwich Market, Jennifer will carefully select tomatoes that will ripen on various days throughout the upcoming week. For one wedded to the Mediterranean lifestyle, there are few things more rewarding than great tasting tomatoes during the summer.
My favorite recipe for heirloom tomatoes is a Food and Wine recipe from New York City chef, Dan Kluger that was originally published in 2012. I had misplaced the recipe and was delighted to find it republished by Food and Wine in their 40th Anniversary Special featuring their 40 Best-Ever Recipes.
Chef Kluger, now working at Loring Place, created this wonderful salad consisting of heirloom tomatoes, herbs and a delicious almond vinaigrette. This is a delightful recipe that Food and Wine refer to as a “show-stopper.” We agree! What better way to share the bountiful harvest of summer tomatoes.
Tomatoes with Herbs and Almond Vinaigrette
- 1/2 cup almonds coarsely chopped and sifted
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus 2 tablespoons
- 1 garlic clove finely grated
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Kosher salt
- 2 pounds mixed heirloom tomatoes some sliced, some halved
- 1/3 cup very thinly sliced red onion soaked in ice water for 10 minutes
- 1/2 small jalapeño minced
- 1/4 cup torn mint leaves
- 1/4 cup torn Thai basil leaves
- In a medium skillet, cook the almonds in the oil over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until well browned, about 7 minutes. Strain the oil through a fine sieve into a heatproof bowl; reserve the almonds for the salad. Immediately whisk the garlic into the warm oil and let cool slightly, then whisk in the vinegar, lime juice and sugar. Season the dressing with salt and pepper.
- Spread the tomatoes on a large baking sheet. Season with salt and let stand for 5 minutes.
- Drain the onions; pat dry. Scatter half of the almonds on a platter and top them with the tomatoes. Drizzle with the dressing and top with the onion, jalapeño, mint, basil and the remaining almonds. Serve.