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Author Notes: A salad you will long for the other 10 months of the year. —David
- 1/2 cup Red wine vinegar
- 1 shallot
- 1 cup EVOO (best quality)
- 1/2 red onion
- 1 ear sweet corn
- 4 red anaheim or heirloom long, sweet red peppers
- 5 large, slicing style ripe heirloom tomatoes
- 1 pint cherry, pear, or smaller heirloom tomatoes
- 2 cups baby arugula or mix baby lettuces
- 1 cup fresh, sweet summer herbs, basil, chervil, savory, marjoram, tarragon etc. plus more sweet basil
- 1 ripe, hass avocado
- 1/2 cup pine nuts (toasted to golden in dry skillet over med. low heat)
- 6 ounces parmigiano reggiano or other favorite hard cheese (optional)
- If possible build a charcoal or wood fire. Roast peppers until just colored all over. Place in paper bag to steam for a minute or two and then remove charred skin under running water. Cut 2 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices of red onion and brush with olive oil. Shuck ear of corn and brush with oil. Roast cornaway from the hottest part of the fire until it just begins to color. Try to color it all over. Also away from the hottest fire roast the onion slices until they just color a little and start to wilt.
- Place red wine vinegar in small saucepan. Coarsely chop shallot and add to the pan. Take 10-12 of your tougher basil leaves, tear in half and add to vinegar. Bring vinegar almost to a boil and turn off heat. Let cool and steep to room temperature then strain. In selecting your 5 larger slicing tomatoes pick three that are visually pleasing of 3 different colors and will make beautiful slices. Trim the ends and then cut into 4 equal slices 1/4 to 1/2 inch. Choose the other two larger tomatoes based on their ripeness and juice content. Place those two tomatoes and the trimmings from the others in a juicing machine or food processor/blender. To make the vinaigrette add 1/2 cup strained tomato juice to 1/2 cup vinegar and dissolve one teaspoon sugar or agave sweetener. then with blender, or by hand whip, slowly add 1/2 cup EVOO to emulsify. Taste and add as much of the remaining 1/2 cup of EVOO to your taste.
- To assemble salad on 4 large plates discard seeds and stems from roasted peppers and cut into 4 equal arrowhead strips. Arrand those in a starburst pattern on the top half or 2/3 of the plate. Mix baby lettuces and herb leaves and toss with just enough vinaigrette to dress. Mound a small pile of lettuce mix at the base of pepper strips. Gently arrange 3 tomato slices over mound. Separate onions into individual rings and place 3 on top of tomatoes. Halve the smaller tomatoes and divide among 4 plates. Halve avocado and score each half with a 1/2 " grid. Remove chunks with a spoon and divide among 4 plates. Remove corn from cob and sprinkle over plates. Sprinkle pine nuts over plates. Put vinaigrette in squeeze bottle and try to just touch each avocado chunk and smaller tomatoes with a drop. Cover sliced tomatoes and onion rings with vinaigrette. If desired shave cheese over plate with vegetable peeler. Salt and pepper and garnish with a few tender basil leaves.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for A&M Smackdown / Your Best Tomato Recipe
More Great Recipes: Salads