Friday, August 14, 2009

Perfect summer meal- Heirloom tomato salad

The past Tuesday was one of the hottest days this summer here in Baltimore. Temperatures were in the 90's and the humidity actually made it pretty uncomfortable for most but having grown up in Kuwait, I was finally happy for some actual summer heat! The grocery store had some gorgeous heirloom tomatoes which in their natural glory are really not that pretty to look at, well they are pretty but not in the perfect round, they look quite malformed actually and therein lies their beauty. I'm not really one for raw tomatoes but I love these heirloom varieties especially because they don't make my itch like the regular Roma or beefsteak tomatoes do. Too much information? Sorry! But back to the point, depending on the kind the tomatoes can be sweet, tart or really quite mellow. They are particularly delicious in this bruschetta style salad with toasted french bread slices. I usually serve the cheese (in this case mozzarella, but chevre is nice too) seperately but for whatever reason tossed it into the salad this time and I must say, I didn't really care for it. Ripping apart the cheese into half and then into strips and layering it atop of the tomato coated toast is waaaay better. But some people actually prefer to have the cheese in with the salad because they say it absorbs the seasoning better. To each their own, and you can do whatever your heart pleases :)
You will need:
2 medium heirloom tomatoes quartered (or rainbow colored grape ones halved would be beautiful too)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 cloves of garlic chopped
2 tbsp of basil chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper
1 handful of the mini fresh mozzarella cheese (called chigline, I think)
Mix all ingredients except the tomatoes and cheese in a bowl. Add tomatoes, cheese and toss to coat evenly with dressing. Serve with warm toasted French baguette.

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