As we finally find ourselves drifting into the warmer months when tomatoes are at their peak addictive sweetness and cherries are falling off the trees, here’s a little inspiration to awaken our tastebuds and celebrate sunnier days.
This is not technically a recipe, it’s more of a quintessential summer salad formula for simply assembling a collection of ingredients in their flavour prime on a plate. The secret is really in the seasonality of the summer fruits giving you all the flavour and beauty you could ever wish for.
Using a variety of tomatoes in both size and colour, all irregularly sliced, halved or quartered differently, creates visual beauty and interest for what could otherwise be considered an ordinary salad. When time allows, I prefer to slice and cut the tomatoes and let them rest in a colander over a bowl (reserving their liquid) for an hour or so before plating to avoid an unwelcome puddle of tomato juice at the bottom of the bowl. I then add the juice either to my basic vinaigrette or a Bloody Mary
Tricks for plating:
Try not to be too prescriptive. Don’t waste any energy trying to make anything perfect, just gently scatter the ingredients on the plate and let them land where they are without too much fuss or finesse. Simple and natural is best. Use this as an exercise in letting go and let the ingredients shine!
Notes: I have offered you some quantity suggestions for a lovely dish to serve 4-6 people as part of a larger spread. You can easily replace the cherries with oven roasted tomatoes or abandon the croutons (even though they might be my favourite bit).
If you can get your hands on any micro herbs, they add a little visual magic to the scene and can replace the herbs below.
If you want to omit the cheese, I might add a sprinkling of sumac to the tomatoes and replace the white balsamic vinegar for a good squeeze of lime juice for a fresh tart punch.
Tomato & Cherry Salad with a Side of Burrata
Tomato Salad with a Side of Burrata
- 500g mixed tomatoes in size and colour
- 1 burrata (or buffala mozzarella)
- 12-15 cherries
- a handful of herbs (or a combination of) rocket, mint, fresh oregano, basil
- 1 tsp white balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 batch (or as many as you like) garlic croutons
About an hour before making the salad, remove the burrata from the fridge so that it is at room temperature.
Place a large colander over an even larger bowl and slice or chop the tomatoes into a variety of shapes and sizes before placing them gently in the colander to drain.
Halve and stone the cherries, and remove all the herbs from their stems, wash and dry them well, ready to scatter.
When you are ready to plate up the salad, loosely scatter approximately 2/3 of the tomatoes over the bottom of the plate.
Drain the burrata and tear it with your hands, nestling it between the tomatoes.
Next add the croutons remembering to allow them to fall, do not carefully place them. Top with the remaining tomatoes, the cherries and the herbs.
Drizzle with the white balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with a good pinch of salt and pepper.
Have you made this dish?
Let me know what you think, share your efforts and any tweaks you made to the recipe on Instagram, don’t forget to tag #BuildingFeasts or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org