Living in downtown Chicago, I don’t have the space to have a vegetable garden, but I am lucky enough to live around the corner from a fabulous farmer’s market. It is my favorite place in the city to buy fresh produce, especially heirloom tomatoes and fresh herbs. My Heirloom Tomato & Fresh Herb Salad is the perfect way to use up your bounty of beautiful, colorful tomatoes and to make sure none of your herbs go to waste. Add this recipe to your rotation if you are looking for a make-ahead dish! This salad can sit at room temperature for several hours, allowing all of the herbs to slowly infuse the olive oil. I like to serve this with crusty bread to soak up every last drop of the oil!
Heirloom Tomatoes – 3 pounds, varying sizes and colors
Olive Oil – ½ cup, plus more for serving
Fleur de Sel – 1 ½ teaspoons, plus more for garnish
Black Pepper – 1 ½ teaspoons, freshly cracked, plus more for garnish
Basil – ½ cup
Parsley – ½ cup, whole leaves, Italian flat leaf variety
Mint – ½ cup, whole leaves
Dill – ½ cup, whole fronds
Chives – ½ cup, trimmed 1 ½ -inch lengths
Tarragon – ½ cup, whole leaves
Cut the large tomatoes in thick slices, the medium ones in wedges and the smaller ones in half.
Choose a large platter or shallow serving bowl and arrange the tomatoes so you have varying sizes and colors mixed together and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with Fleur de Sel and black pepper.
Next, scatter the tomatoes with all of the fresh herbs. Drizzle with more olive oil and garnish with more Fleur de Sel and black pepper.
Tip: Not only is this a fabulous salad, I also love to toss it with freshly cooked pasta, red pepper flakes and ciliegine (small balls of fresh mozzarella) for an earthy dinner – perfect for weeknights and company, too!
Summer Tip: Whether you buy your tomatoes from the farmers market, farmstand or grocery store, I like to leave them in a warm sunny window for at least 4 hours before serving. The sun will warm them up and help release the aromatics from the fresh herbs – a perfect summer treat!