Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Heirloom Tomato Salads

The moment that I have been waiting all summer for finally arrived - heirloom tomatoes are at the farmers' markets!!!!!  Hurray!  I celebrated by buying 2 pounds of tomatoes - green zebras, Brandywines, purple Cherokees, striped Germans, sungolds...  I bought them all.  And then I proceeded to eat them all.  We have had heirloom tomato salads the past two nights in a row, plus we had one on Saturday.  We would have had another on Sunday, but we already had dinner plans with friends for that night.  My absolute favorite new thing to do with our heirloom tomatoes comes from Andrea Reusing - slice or chunk them up and then sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper and set aside for 30 minutes. There is no real recipe - just drizzle with a little evoo, some vinegar (we have been doing the red wine vinegar thing, but I love balsamic vinegar with heirloom tomatoes too) and then top with whatever herbs you have handy and serve.  When the tomatoes are this good, that is really all you need.  Saturday called for fresh oregano and some really thinly sliced red onions that we soaked in cold water for 10 minutes to remove some of their onion-y bite.  On Monday we decided to go with s&p, evoo, red wine vinegar, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, delicious feta from the farmers' market, mint and more red onions.  I thought about adding fresh cucumbers (also from the farmers' market), but decided to stick to just tomatoes.  Then tonight we combined two different variations on traditional caprese salad that we have made in the past and made a quinoa salad with heirloom cherry tomatoes, bocconcini (little mozzarella balls), Thai basil, shallots, garlic, sesame oil and rice vinegar.  Tonight's meal got a little too fancy for me, which took a way from the pureness and sweetness of the tomatoes themselves.  I really missed the simplicity of our other tomato salads.  Luckily, there are still a few more weeks for heirloom tomatoes so I can experiment a few more times with different herbs and vinegars to see what combination I like best!  Yum!

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