Heirloom Tomatoes & Basil Salad
Heirloom tomato & basil salad is the taste of summer at its best and is great for weeknights and parties alike. The salad is presentation perfect and ready to enjoy in about 5 minutes.
If you grow your own tomatoes you are half way to serving a platter of heirloom tomatoes & basil salad. Or if you are lucky enough to have Farmers markets in your area, make a visit during the summer and Fall months to find just picked full-flavored heirloom tomatoes and vibrant basil. Heirloom tomatoes & basil salad comes together in about 5 minutes producing a beautiful bright platter of summer goodness.
The simplicity of this dish relies on super fresh just picked tomatoes really only found at Farmers markets or in your own garden. With very few exceptions, grocery store tomatoes won’t do it for this dish; tomatoes for grocery stores are bred for transporting more than taste and are usually picked before the sugars have developed enough to ripen properly once picked.
There is no need to make fancy dressings for this salad. The flavor of just picked Farmers market or garden heirloom tomatoes bursting with juicy sweetness and acidity will make it’s own dressing along with a hit of lemon juice and a grind of black pepper if you like. When the summer heirloom tomatoes are this good, even salt is not needed, making this salad naturally SOS free (salt-free, oil-free, sugar-free) before adding the optional flatbread and almond ricotta or cream cheese. If you want to dress the salad up, the Bright Summer Oil-free Tomato Dressing is a great choice.
Baked flatbread with homemade Creamy Almond Ricotta or store-bought Almond cream cheese adds a creaminess that compliments the bright sweet and tangy heirloom tomatoes and minty vibrant basil.
Tools Used in this Recipe
- Cutting Board
- salad spinner
- chef knife or other very sharp knife
- serving platter or individual plates
- 5-8 leaves lettuce (any lettuce type you like)
- 3-5 basil top leaves for garnish and presentation on the plate
- Several baisil leaves cut chiffonade (leaves cut crosswise in 1/4 in ribbons)
- 1/2-3/4 lbs heirloom tomatoes cut in 1/4in wedges
- 1/2 lemon juice only
- 2 oz almond ricotta (or any oil-free plant-based cheese), optional
- 4-6 oil-free baked flatbread (pita bread baked, or other flatbread fresh or baked)
- Wash and spin dry lettuce and basil or place in a glass or vase to air dry.
- Cut the basil leaves in chiffonade style (leaves cut crosswise into ribbons about 1/4 in) or tear basil leaves into bite size pieces.Reserve a few top basil leaves for garnish and presentation on the plate(s).
- Layer your serving plate with some lettuce leaves. Add some of the cut or torn basil leaves. Place a layer of the tomato wedges. Garnish with the top basil leaves. Squeeze the lemon over the platter and grind some black pepper if desired.
- Optional: Spread some almond ricotta or oil-free plant-based cream cheese on a baked flatbread and add to the serving platter. Enjoy the taste of summer!