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Heirloom Tomato Salad

Here's a favorite summer salad at The Cook's Atelier.  The heirloom tomatoes are beginning to arrive at the market and we can't help but fill our baskets to the brim with all the beautiful varieties from one of our favorite farms owned by our friend, Céline and her dad, Yannick.  Their tomatoes are absolutely our favorites and they come in every shape, size, and color imaginable.  The recipe is great as an amuse-bouche to begin a summer evening meal or it is also lovely served family-style on a big ironstone platter.  For this salad, we particularly love to use a variety of garden basil which might include cinnamon, lemon, as well as the tiny little basil leaves that we source from Madame Loichet’s garden.

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Roquefort and Garden Basil

Serves 4

1 small clove of garlic

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 pounds heirloom tomatoes, assorted sizes, shapes, and colors

1 teaspoon fleur de sel

1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots

a handful of garden basil leaves

a handful of chives, chopped

1/2 pound Roquefort cheese

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Using a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic and a heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt to a paste.  Transfer to a bowl and stir in the vinegars.  Add the olive oil and taste for seasoning.  Don’t whisk, as we prefer to dress the salad with a “broken vinaigrette”.  

Cut the tomatoes into thick slices, about 1/4-inch.  Season each slice with fleur de sel and some freshly ground black pepper.  Place the slices overlapping on a salad plate and scatter the sliced shallots, basil and chives over the top of the salad.  Crumble the Roquefort cheese over the tomatoes.  Spoon the broken vinaigrette over the salad.  Serve immediately.