Because I’m a seasonal fanatic, I refuse to make this salad at any other time of the year than when heirloom tomatoes are in season – even though I’ve been known to lust over it in mid-January.
I’ll admit that I’ll extend the season a bit if I find local greenhouse tomatoes, but that’s the only exception I ever make. So every year, from late June until mid-October, I’ll make this salad at least once a week.
Perfectly vine-ripened tomatoes are sweet rather than acidic, and when they are served with melt-in-your-mouth handmade mozzarella and a spicy olive oil, they command the attention of your taste buds. (Mine are prone to do somersaults without any encouragement whatsoever.)
Guess what I’m making for lunch today? Buon Appetito!
Wine pairing: Dry rosé with heirloom tomato salad
Sweet, ripe tomatoes and rosé are a match made in heaven! But the rosé needs to be bone-dry, with round fruit notes and a clean finish. Think rosés made with Southern Rhône or Italian varietals such as Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Carignane and Sangiovese.
Heirloom tomato salad with bocconcini & basil
1 3/4 lbs (800 g) mixed heirloom tomatoes (different colors) – cut in 1/2″ slices
6 oz (170 g) mixed heirloom cherry tomatoes or husk tomatoes
1 lb (455 g) bocconcini (baby mozzarella balls) – drained on paper towels
extra virgin olive oil
fine sea salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup small basil leaves or large basil leaves torn in 1/2″ pieces
- Arrange the tomatoes and bocconcini onto 4 plates. Drizzle lavishly with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Garnish with the basil and serve with sourdough or Italian country bread.