Our heirloom tomatoes and basil salad [tweet this] is a classic summer dish and requires no cooking. This will make enough for lunch the next day, and the flavor will become more pronounced after sitting overnight.
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1-1/2 pounds assorted heirloom tomatoes (can be found in most specialty produce markets) or, if heirloom tomatoes are not available, cherry, vine-ripened, or grape tomatoes
- 4 large fresh basil leaves, julienne cut
Garnish: whole basil leaves
Make dressing: Whisk together olive oil and next five ingredients. With smaller heirloom tomatoes, cut them in half; quarter larger tomatoes. Set aside. Drizzle dressing over tomatoes. Sprinkle with basil. Let stand at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour. Just before serving, drain excess liquid. Garnish with fresh basil leaves; serve at room temperature.
About Heirloom Tomatoes
Heirloom tomatoes are the weird shaped, colorful tomatoes you see at the farmers market and high end grocery stores. While there is no standard agricultural definition for the term heirloom, it generally refers to varieties that have been handed down and grown without crossbreeding.
Many American consumers have rediscovered heirlooms over the last decade. According to Slow Food USA, the heirloom tomato is widely recognized for its superior taste, texture and aroma versus the more readily available hybrid varieties, which are bred as much to withstand travel as for taste and nutrition. Heirloom tomatoes also contain a broader set of micronutrients. Heirloom tomatoes lack a uniform color (e.g., not perfectly red), shape and size which is perfect for the home chef that wishes to present an enticing visual experience.
Heirlooms are not limited to tomatoes. Heirloom varieties can be found for many vegetables, legumes and herbs including lettuces, broccoli, beans, Brussels sprouts, basil and many more.