Just looking at this heirloom tomato salad photo makes me giddy with excitement. Memories of a salad made with sun-warmed tomatoes, fresh from the vine and drizzled with pungent olive oil come flooding back with every bite. That salad, savoured in a tiny outdoor café on the shores of the Mediterranean, is one that’s etched in my memory.
And now we’re heading back to the sunny Mediterranean again! I feel like a kid waiting for her birthday, but I’ve forced myself not to begin counting the days, just yet. This time, we’ve chosen a return visit to Portugal and Spain. An escape from the inevitable winter dreariness of West Coast fall and winter. A reprieve. Warmth, sunshine, and colour!
Late summer tomatoes are something we crave all year. Winter tomatoes are so disappointing. So when spring comes, Denis and I plant, water, nurture, pinch and now, in late August, we’re rewarded with a large harvest of sun-ripened tomatoes.
This year, we planted a Black variety. They’re an elongated tomato, deep rich red, almost mahogany in colour, and their flavour is just as rich. I sliced them, along with other heirlooms, to make the base for this mouth-watering heirloom tomato salad.
A smattering of basil and a spoonful of capers brings out the deep rich flavour of tomatoes, (you know–those ones picked at their peak of ripeness, just at that moment before they’re so ripe that they split). Sprinkle some sea salt and feta crumbles on top and your salad is ready to dress.
I chose to use a simple balsamic dressing, and by simple I mean no recipe needed! I whisked spoonfuls of olive oil and balsamic vinegar together and drizzled a little on the salad just before serving.
A simple summertime salad!
Basil, capers and feta cheese enhance the natural flavours of late-summer tomatoes in this simple recipe for Heirloom Tomato Salad.
Slice large tomatoes, arrange on serving dish. Add halved cherry tomatoes.
Cut basil chiffonade-style, leave some leaves whole and arrange on serving dish. Sprinkle with sea salt. Garnish with capers and crumbled feta.
Whisk 1 tablespoon olive oil with 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar. Drizzle over salad and serve immediately.
More tomato inspiration!