Heirloom tomatoes come in a staggering array of colors, sizes, and flavor profiles. You can make this lovely composed salad with large or small tomatoes (or both!) -- the fun is in the interplay between lush summer tomatoes, the creamy tang of goat cheese, and the peppery bite of arugula.
Tip: If you can't find heirloom tomatoes, beefsteak or cherry tomatoes would work nicely too. Just make sure your tomatoes truly ripe and fragrant.
Make It A Meal: Turn your farmer's market haul into a deliciously casual meal that's perfect for picnics. Serve the salad with cold soup, panini, and iced tea, sangria, or white wine, if you'd like. Pick up some fresh baguette or ciabatta, whip up a batch of pea and walnut pesto, and roast your favorite veggies (zucchini, portabello mushrooms, and red bell peppers are ideal) to make sandwiches. Pair with chilled carrot, apple, and celery soup. For dessert, offer fresh fruit salad, or if you're feeling fancy, flourless chocolate-orange cupcakes with beet frosting.
- For the Salad:
- 2 pounds heirloom tomatoes (at least 2 different varieties)
- 5 ounces baby arugula
- 4 ounces chèvre
- For the Vinaigrette:
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil (finely chopped, from about 16 leaves)
Slice large tomatoes into 1/4 inch thick rounds. Halve or quarter cherry, grape, or other small tomatoes. Divide the tomatoes among four plates, arranging them to show off the contrast in their colors.
Top each plate of tomatoes with a handful of arugula, allowing a border of tomatoes to show around the edge of the plates.
Divide the goat cheese evenly among the salads, crumbling it over the arugula and tomatoes.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, and basil. Drizzle each salad with vinaigrette, allowing about 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of dressing per salad. Serve immediately. Enjoy!