Recipe: Heirloom Tomato Salad, Torn Croutons, Burrata, Basil


Heirloom tomatoes are a magnificent summer treat and are highlighted in this salad by Suzanne Goin, chef of Luques in Los Angeles.  Sunday Supers at Luques is one of my all-time favorite cookbooks.  Chef Goin makes seasonal, delicious food.

Notes: burrata is a creamy cheese encased in a mozarella skin.  It bursts open when you cut into it.  Burrata is sold at Trader Joe’s.  You can substitute mozarella or ricotta. You can also substitute approximately 1 tsp of dried oregano for 1 Tbs fresh oregano

Adapted from  Sunday Suppers at Luques, by Suzanne Goin and Teri Gelber

Time: 30 minutes, Servings: 6

Heirloom Tomato Salad, Torn Croutons, Burrata, Basil

1/3 pound country white bread
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. fresh oregano leaves
1/2 garlic clove
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
3 pounds heirloom tomatoes in assorted sizes, shapes and colors
1 tsp. fleur de sel
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 pound burrata cheese
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
2 to 3 Tbs. small fresh basil leaves

Preheat an oven to 375°F.

Cut the crust off the bread and tear the remaining loaf into 1-inch pieces. Using your hands, toss with 2 Tbs. of the olive oil, squeezing the bread to help absorb the oil. Toast on a baking sheet, stirring a few times, until the croutons are golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.

Using a mortar and pestle, pound the oregano, garlic and 1/4 tsp. of the kosher salt to a paste. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in the vinegars and the remaining 6 Tbs. olive oil.

Stem the cherry tomatoes and cut in half. Core the heirloom tomatoes. Cut half into wedges and set aside; slice the rest 1/4 inch thick. Season with the fleur de sel and pepper. Cut the burrata into 12 slices. Arrange the tomato slices and burrata on a large platter. Drizzle with a little vinaigrette.

Toss the heirloom wedges and cherry tomatoes gently in a large bowl with the shallots, the remaining 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, a pinch of pepper and 3 Tbs. of the vinaigrette. Taste for seasoning, adding more vinaigrette if desired. Add the croutons and gently toss.

Pile the salad in the center of the platter. Scatter with the basil leaves.

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