Heirloom Cherry Tomato Salad with Toasted Seeded Chèvre

This is one luscious Heirloom Cherry Tomato Salad!  The toasted seeded chèvre is crazy good paired with the freshness of the tomatoes.  The olive oil herb dressing gives a nice depth to this perfectly balanced salad.  It is even more incredible when served with crusty sourdough bread and a nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

Heirloom Cherry Tomato Salad I have had cookbooks on the brain ever since my friend Aysegul from Foolproof Living talked about her abundance of cookbooks in one of her recent posts.  I had made a comment about how I sold over 50 cookbooks right before I left Oregon.  It was probably actually more than 50, but who’s counting?  Even though I sometimes wish I still had them, it’s nice to start a new collection.

Heirloom Cherry Tomato Salad The strange thing about cookbooks and me is that I can never get myself to actually make any of the recipes.  I generally use them as a source of inspiration.  My recipe process has always been the same.  I pour through as many cookbooks, magazines and online resources as I can for inspiration.  Then I start writing out the ingredients I want to use for a new recipe.  From there I just start making it and fill in the amounts as I go.

Aysegul has inspired me to actually try a recipe from a cookbook.  I just ordered Alternative Baker by Alanna Taylor-Tobin from The Bojon Gourmet and I’m going to try and make one of her recipes.  Although I will most likely adapt it a little, I’m still excited to try one out!

Heirloom Cherry Tomato Salad As I mentioned in my prior post, it was my birthday on last Labor Day.  My friends Hannah and Dennis had brought me a whole bunch of Heirloom cherry tomatoes that they grew in their garden.  I was instantly inspired to develop an end of summer tomato salad.

 I wanted to incorporate a toasted seed mix into my fresh summer salad.  I got the idea for the toasted seed mix from a cafe in Santa Cruz called The Picnic Basket.  They have a basic green salad that they top with toasted seeds and it’s incredible!  I decided to cover chèvre cheese balls with the toasted seed mix.  I started to search the Internet and I came across Half Baked Harvest’s salad recipes where she did almost the exact thing I had envisioned.  She made them into really small balls, which I thought was even more perfect than what I was originally going to do!  Thus this salad was born!

Heirloom Cherry Tomato Salad This salad is amazing with a crisp Sauvignon Blanck from the Marlborough region of New Zealand.  It’s also nice with a Rosé, Pinot Gris or a Soave.

Heirloom Cherry Tomato Salad

Heirloom Cherry Tomato Salad Recipe:
  • 3 Baskets Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes – room temperature – some whole – cut some in halves  – some in quarters
  • 1/4 Red Onion – minced
  • 1 Ear of Corn – cut off the cob (or 1/2 cup frozen and thawed)
Dressing – adapted from my  Italian Style Salsa Verde
  • 1/4 Cup Minced Fresh Basil
  • 3 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Chives
  • 1 Tablespoons Minced Fresh Parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons Capers – roughly chopped
  • 1 Shallot – minced
  • 2 Small Cloves Garlic – minced
  • 1/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon White Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Lemon Juice – fresh squeezed
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt – or to taste
  • Dash Black Pepper
Toasted Seed Cheese Balls
  • 8 oz Chevre Cheese
  • 2/3 Cup Raw Pepitas
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons White Sesame Seeds
  • 1/3 Cup Raw Sunflower Seeds
Instructions:
Dressing

Add everything to a medium bowl, mix together and set aside.

Toasted Seed Cheese Balls
In a large skillet, toast the pepitas seeds on medium heat, while stirring often, for 2 minutes then add the sunflower and sesame seeds and stir until fragrant and lightly golden.  Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.  Approx. 3 – 5 minutes.
Measure a teaspoon of the cheese and roll into a ball.  Next, roll the cheese balls into the seeds as best you can, then add some seeds to the palm of your hands to roll more onto the cheese for full coverage.  Place them into a covered container and refrigerate until the salad is ready.
You will have some seeds leftover to add to individual salads.
Assemble
Wash and dry the tomatoes.  Cut some into quarters, halves and leave some whole.  There are two ways you can pull it together.
1. In a large bowl, mix everything but the cheese balls together. Serve the cheese on the side.
2. Arrange half the tomatoes on a large platter.  Sprinkle on half the corn and half the onion, drizzle with the dressing and then add more tomatoes, corn and onion.  Arrange some of the cheese balls around.  Serve remaining cheese balls and seeds on the side.
  Heirloom Cherry Tomato Salad Health benefits:

Tomatoes are great for the heart due to the extreme antioxidant support, niacin, folate and vitamin B6 that help the reduction of heart disease.  They are also high in vitamins A, C, K and potassium.  The choline in tomatoes helps assist the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation.  It also helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory.  Tomatoes are high in Lycopene the antioxidant that gives tomatoes their red color.  Cooking tomatoes break down the cell walls, which helps to release the lycopene and is better absorbed by the body with a little bit of fat like olive oil.  The Zeaxanthin in them helps to filter harmful ultra-violet rays, which protect eyes from “age-related macular disease.”  They are also a powerful blood purifier and great for skin and bone health.

 

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