“We have a pot of drip beef on the stove and bubbly chilling in the fridge.
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Can you be here in a couple of hours?”
Some invitations are far too good to pass up. What to bring, what to bring?
We're lucky enough to have neighbors who, every year, grow the most flavorful heirloom tomatoes I've ever eaten. All as starts from a student organization on campus. It just so happened, a few were sitting on our kitchen counter
The tomato salad recipe I've wanted to try. Now, where was that again?
Food is most alive and filled with nutrients when it's harvested at the peak of ripeness. From the moment produce is plucked from the vine, its nutrient value slowly begins to diminish. The longer the journey from the garden to your dinner table, only compounds the problem.
All fresh food contains enzymes that assist in its decomposition. For example, if we leave fresh food out on our deck on a sunny day, it will begin to shrivel, become mushy, and eventually end up moldy and smelly. Little do we know, but these same enzymes help our bodies as well when it comes to digesting and metabolizing what we eat.
The more I learn, I can't help be struck by how different our food world is today when compared to 60 or 75 years ago — a time before the industrial revolution when farming became big business.
The days when family gardens and local farms were the norm
In today's world, food is often picked when it's unripe and green, before becoming a small piece of a large distribution network. It's picked up at the farm, trucked to a distribution center, and then shipped to our local area (miles, states, or even countries away!)
From there it's often stored in a warehouse and slowly rotated into the grocery's produce section. Often being put on the bottom of the stack, so that which arrived first has a better chance of being sold. We buy it, take it home, where it lives in the fridge for a few days before it's prepared and eaten.
The entire process can take an awfully long time. With so much nutrient potential either never realized, or simply lost along the way.
The thoughts that ran through my head as I washed the dirt from these beautiful tomatoes.
If you have a chance to make this salad, please do. I promise you won't be disappointed. The roasted tomatoes add a depth that's worth turning on the oven for. Toasted almonds and capers, big chunks of fresh mozzarella, fresh curly kale, all covered with a healthy drizzling of chive and olive oil dressing.
Add some protein, and you'll have a perfect summertime meal at home. Better yet, put it on a pretty serving dish and bring it to a spur of the moment dinner party. Something as wonderful as this begs to be shared with someone (or someones) that you love
~ Adapted from 101 Cookbooks
Heirloom Tomato Salad with Chive Dressing
- 2 lbs heirloom tomatoes, halved and then cut into roughly the same size
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- couple pinches of sea salt
- ½ cup toasted almonds, sliced
- 2 Tbsp capers, fried for a couple of minutes in a bit of clarified butter
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella, torn into chunks
- a handful of torn kale leaves
- a generous drizzle of chive dressing
- Chive Dressing
- ⅓ cup + ¼ cup fresh chives, chopped
- ½ cup olive oil
- a pinch of sea salt
- Roast 1 pound (or half) of the tomatoes
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Halve the tomatoes and toss them in a bowl along with the olive oil, maple syrup, and sea salt. Arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, cut side up
- Bake, without stirring, until the tomatoes have shrunken a bit & have begun to caramelize around the edges (~ 45 to 60 minutes).
- Set aside to cool.
- Make the Chive Dressing
- In a food processor (or blender) puree ⅓ cup chopped chives with ½ cup olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Stir in another ¼ cup finely chopped chives by hand.
- Assemble the Salad
- Gently toss the roasted and raw tomatoes with a bit of chive or lemon oil, most of the almonds, the capers, the mozzarella, and the kale.
- Serve topped with the remaining almonds and a few extra fresh chives that have been cut into small pieces.