Secret Sauce: Heirloom Tomato Salad by El Vez

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Perfect for summer grilling season, this salad puts the spotlight on seasonal produce.

Ingredients

Croutons:

1 day-old french roll, cut into bite-size pieces

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Vinaigrette:

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

2 tablespoons  extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon  honey or agave syrup

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

¼ cup blueberries, roughly chopped

Salad:

Olive oil, as needed for grilling

1 red onion, sliced into wedges

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 ripe peach, pitted and halved

2 large heirloom tomatoes, room temperature, cut any size you like

¼ cup chopped scallion tops

¼ cup chopped Fresno peppers

¼ cup crumbled Cotija cheese

 

Instructions

For the croutons:

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly coat the bread pieces in olive oil and spread on a non-stick baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until brown and crisp. (The croutons can be made several days ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.)

For the vinaigrette:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, and honey. Season to taste with salt and  pepper. Gently fold the blueberries into the mixture until ingredients are combined. (The vinaigrette can be made up to 3 days ahead; store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.)

For the salad:

Heat a gas or charcoal grill to hot; lightly brush the grates with oil.  (Alternatively, heat a grill pan over high heat.)

Sprinkle the onions with salt and pepper. When the grill (or grill pan) is hot, grill the onions on both sides until  marked. (For best flavor, grill the onions the day before serving; refrigerate in an airtight container.) 

Lightly brush the peach halves with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill on both sides until the peaches are just marked. (Do not overcook the peaches or they will turn mushy.) Let the peaches cool, then slice into wedges.

To assemble the salad + serve:

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, scallions, and fresno peppers. Add 2 tablespoons of the blueberry vinaigrette and toss to combine. Add the grilled onions and grilled peach wedges, plus more vinaigrette, if you like, and toss well. Garnish with the cotija and croutons; serve immediately.

 

Pro Tips

  • Make the blueberry vinaigrette and grilled red onions a day ahead to allow the flavors to intensify.
  • Do not grill the peaches all the way, as they will overcook and turn mushy; just mark them and let them cool off before slicing.
  • If spicy is not your thing, devein and deseed Fresno peppers.
  • Leave the heirlooms to come to room temperature; the flavor becomes stronger when they are not cold, straight from the fridge.

Serves 3.

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