Upon seeing an overload of heirloom tomatoes at the market, I was inspired to make this summery, Italian side dish. It works really well as a side dish for some roasted chicken or as an appetizer or salad course.
This dish is a slight variation on Jamie Oliver’s “Tomato Mothership” recipe from Jamie at Home. If you’d like to watch the original video, he describes some of the preparations in greater detail.
Heirloom Tomato Salad – What you’ll need:
- 1 to 2 pounds of various heirloom tomatoes, the more variety the better.
- 1/2 to 1 pound fresh mozzarella balls (depending on how much cheese you like)
- 1/2 pound mixed Mediterranean olives
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes
- splash of red wine or balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp kosher salt
Heirloom Tomato Salad – What you’ll need to do:
Chunk the tomatoes into various sizes and shapes. This will give the heirloom tomato salad a rustic, homemade appearance.
The next step is very important:
Put the chunked-up tomatoes into a colander and sprinkle them generously with kosher salt. Give them a toss and sprinkle on a bit more salt. Let them drain in the sink or into a bowl for 20 minutes. This will remove the excess water and seriously intensify that delicious tomato flavor.
Next, transfer the tomatoes into a big salad bowl, and finely GRATE one garlic clove over the tomato mixture.
Add the mozzarella balls and olives, and then add the oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes. Drizzle generously with the extra virgin olive oil and give it a splash of vinegar. Then give the whole mixture a thorough toss.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes prior to serving to let the flavors mingle.
NOTE: If the mozzarella balls and/or olives are already marinated, you may need to use less olive oil when assembling the salad.