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Author Notes: Most of the time I slice up heirloom tomatoes and drizzle them with balsamic, olive oil, and salt. That's it. They're so flavorful that they don't need much adornment. But I thought it might be fun to come up with a hearty salad dressing that complements the intense tomato flavor. This recipe calls for just tomatoes and cucumbers but it also works really well with the addition of white beans and avocado. You will probably have some dressing left over. If you whisk in more olive oil and creme fraiche, it will almost turn into a mayonnaise and you can use it as a spread on sandwiches. —Phyllis Grant
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1 bunch fresh herbs (any combination of parsley, basil, and mint), chopped
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon white wine or champagne vinegar
- 6 tablespoons mild extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons creme fraiche
- 1 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced (not all cucumbers need to be seeded -- taste and decide)
- 4 heirloom tomatoes (medium-sized), cored and sliced in wedges
- fleur de sel or other chunky salt
- 3 tablespoons crumbly blue cheese
- Combine shallot, herbs, lemon juice, and vinegar. Set aside to macerate for a few minutes. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until emulsified. Whisk in the creme fraiche. Taste. I like the dressing on the acidic side. It holds up really well to the flavorful tomatoes.
- Place tomato wedges around the plate interspersed with slices of cucumber. Sprinkle all over a big pinch of salt and another of pepper. Generously drizzle on the dressing. Use a fork to crumble blue cheese all over the vegetables. Add a few extra chopped herbs. Serve immediately.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe Using Heirloom Tomatoes