Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Heirloom Tomato Salad

I have a hard time taking just one thing to a potluck. For the aforementioned potluck this past Saturday night, there would be a combination of foodies and normal people. So the thing on my mind was something that both would enjoy (and something a little more grown up than jello shots: a simple heirloom tomato salad.

I headed out to the farmer's market on Saturday morning to find a combination of colorful and flavorful tomatoes that would look and taste beautiful together in a salad. I also grabbed some fresh oregano while I was there, since mine has gone to seed.

I basically made Jamie Oliver's Mothership Tomato Salad, which lists all the ingredients, but you add them to your own taste. Here's what I did:

I started with three pounds of local heirloom tomatoes from one of farmer's markets. My tomatoes resembled these lovelies.

As suggested, I cut them in a variety of sizes and chunks to add visual interest. I liked his suggestion of salting the tomatoes and letting them sweat out the extra liquid. I normally don't do this for my tomato salads, and there is a lot of extra juice that waters down the dressing. Of course, he says to discard the juice, but I added a bit of salt and drank it. I will not admit to the juice dribbling down my chin anywhere but here. That fresh tomato nectar was honestly the best part of making this recipe. Chef's privilege!

I added probably 1/4 cup fresh oregano, a diced clove of garlic, 1 part balsamic vinegar to 2 parts oil (I did 1/4 cups) and salt and pepper to taste.

I served this at room temperature, because somehow, tomatoes taste better to me that way. Like I just picked them off the vine and served them up.

I personally felt I didn't add enough vinegar to this, but I got some good comments on it at the potluck. It was enjoyed by both the food connoisseurs and the unwashed masses. Happy day!

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