I love the freshness and the taste of the tomatoes and I don’t hesitate to incorporate them into my recipes as often as I can. And today, I am sharing with you this gorgeous and colorful “Heirloom Tomato Salad” recipe.
It is important to choose the right tomatoes for making any recipe and here is why and how to choose them.
How to choose your tomatoes
Tomatoes are most flavorful when ripened on the vine, and the sooner you eat a ripe tomato after it’s been picked, the better the taste, so try to buy the tomatoes from the organic local farms if possible as most of the tomatoes sold nowadays in the grocery shops are ripened in the store and not on the vine. Always look for firm tomatoes, richly colored, wrinkle free skins with noticeable tomato fragrant.
The type of tomato you buy depends on what you intend to do with it. For instance, the big tomatoes are good for breakfast as they have a sweet and meaty texture and are perfect for salads, grilling and stuffing. The round salad tomatoes also known as the traditional British tomatoes are good for salad however they really need to be ripe to get the best flavor. The small and sweet cherry tomatoes with their intense flavors are perfect for salads, pasta sauces and roasted. Plum tomatoes with their rich flavor and few seeds compare to the rest of the tomatoes are good for making sauces and stews. Green tomatoes come in two types. One is unripe, and is quite tart but good for chutneys, or fried. The other is a variety that stays green when ripe, has a tangy flavor and is good in salads or, again, fried. And as for the Yellow golden tomatoes, they are perfect in salads, salsas and chutneys.
To make my “Heirloom Tomato Salad” receipe, I have used assorted ripe heirloom tomatoes with different colors which makes the dish looks very colorful and attractive. I used basil vinaigrette to dress the salad. Its best to combine the vinaigrette and the tomatoes when you are ready to serve them so the tomatoes will stay perky.
For the Salad:
- 650 g of assorted ripe heirloom tomatoes
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves. roughly hand torn
- pinch of sea salt
- pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup basil vinaigrette (recipe below)
For the Basil Vinaigrette:
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
- ⅛ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- ½ teaspoon of lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons of lemon or more
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
- Cut the smaller tomatoes in half then cut the bigger tomatoes into smaller pieces to be the same size of the smaller tomatoes. The idea here is to maintain similar bite sizes for all the tomatoes.
- Now for the vinaigrette, in a blender, on a high speed blend the basil, parsley, oil, salt, pepper, lemon zest, garlic powder, and lemon juice for about a minute or until smooth and green. Taste for the salt and pepper, add more if required and if more acidity is needed add a little bit more lemon juice.
- Pour over the tomatoes and toss gently to combine. Be gentle not to smash the tomatoes.
- Transfer to serving plate and sprinkle with basil leaves and sea salt and black pepper. Enjoy!