There was a time in my life where I would eat around tomatoes in just about everything. As someone who loves food this is an embarrassing fact. But something changed. My theory is that I was eating the wrong tomatoes. Yes, there is a wrong kind of tomato. The cold pink kind cut way too big for your salad. No one really enjoys those. There’s a certain amount of care that goes into cooking with really good tomatoes. Or in this case, not cooking with them. Tomatoes should never be refrigerated (they get mealy). They should always be in season, and they should smell green like tomato vines.
Sam, who claims that before we met he never enjoyed food much (CRAZY), asks me all the time why the sandwiches I make are so good. Honestly, my secret is just getting really good ingredients, and putting the right things together. I’m a matchmaker of ingredients. Hell, you could slice an heirloom tomato, sprinkle it with a pinch of salt, and just eat it, and you’ll know what I’m talking about. Really good cooks find great ingredients that complement each other. Cooking doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult. Some of my best recipes are like this one! Just a couple of really great things, put together in the right way.
Vegetables in season always look happy, don’t they? I’m loving these heirloom variety of tomato that I found at the grocery, but kudos if you grow them or find them at the farmers market! I tried all night to think of something to make with these, but nothing really was working. Cooking them wouldn’t be right–they have so much fresh flavor at room temperature. So finally I came up with the idea to slice them, sprinkle them with coarse salt, serve them with delightfully runny burrata cheese and drizzle them with an oily herb pesto. Just let these ingredients speak for themselves.
Here’s how to make it!
Slice your tomatoes into 1/4 inch thick slices or so. Layer them on the plate. Then halve your baby tomatoes longways and scatter them among the slices. Sprinkle with coarse salt like sea salt or kosher salt.
In a food processor, add your halved shallots and pulse to mince them. Then add your red wine vinegar, lemon juice, thyme leaves, basil, parsley with a pinch of salt and pepper. Pulse a few times until they’re coarse. Then run your food processor and pour in your oil while it runs through the hole in the top.
Tear your burrata cheese all over the tomatoes. This is my favorite part. There’s something lovely about tearing creamy burrata.
Then drizzle your herb pesto all over the tomatoes.
That’s it! It’s not a crazy involved recipe, and it takes about ten minutes to throw together.
What a beautiful, perfect summer meal. What’s your favorite summer dish?
- 3 large heirloom tomatoes
- 1 pint baby heirloom tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
- kosher salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- 2 small shallots, peeled and halved
- ½ cup parsley leaves
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1½ tbsp red wine vinegar
- juice of ½ lemon
- ½ cup olive oil
- 3 ounces burrata cheese, torn
- Slice the tomatoes into ¼ inch slices, layering on a large platter. Halve the baby tomatoes and layer in with the heirloom tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- In a food processor, pulse the shallots. Add the parsley, basil, thyme and lemon juice and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Run the food processor on high and pour the oil in while it's running.
- Drizzle the herb pesto on the tomatoes. Tear the burrata over the tomatoes and serve immediately.