Sweet, juicy and meaty, heirloom tomatoes are a fascinating item at the farmer's market.
Sometimes for their many bright rainbow colors.
Sometimes for their unique funky shapes.
But mostly, because they are delicious.
HEIRLOOM TOMATO ARUGULA SALAD RECIPE
A good ripe heirloom tomato can stand on its own, for that reason I like to treat this wonderful fruit minimally. This is a recipe that contrasts the natural sweetness of the heirloom tomato with two strong flavors, basil and wild arugula.
1 large heirloom tomato or roughly 1.5 lbs of smaller heirloom varieties
4 cups fresh wild arugula, loosely packed
5-8 fresh basil leaves
2-4 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
fresh mozzarella (optional)
- In a large mixing bowl, add the wild arugula, drizzle in roughly 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and a pinch of sea salt. With salad tongs, gently toss to coat the arugula leaves. There should be a light sheen to each of the leaves. Taste a leaf, if you feel that it is too dry add an extra tablespoon of olive oil. If you feel it is too bland add an extra sprinkling of sea salt and/or 1/2 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar. Gently toss again and repeat, if necessary, until you are satisfied with the flavor of the arugula salad. Set aside.
- For the heirloom tomatoes, core the stem, and slice off the navel and any rough patches of the tomato. Slice the heirloom tomatoes across into 1/2 inch thick disks, taking care to remove the seeds along the way with the tip of a paring knife. You may consider saving the seeds to grow your own heirlooms next year. Salt and pepper each tomato slice, to taste. Set aside.
- For the basil leaf, the number of leaves you use are a measure of your preference. Stack the basil leaves, roll tightly into a bundle, and slice very thinly. Set aside.
- To assemble, plate the arugula salad. Add a slice of heirloom tomato on the bed of arugula, a slice of mozzarella (if using), sprinkle a few slices of basil, and repeat twice more. Lightly drizzle with olive oil to finish the salad.