I truly believe that the best way to eat an heirloom tomato is to slice it, salt it and slide it into your mouth. The Stack is a variation on that theme that gives eaters a visual representation of the bounty of the tomato season. I saw my first stack at a small Italian restaurant in Carlisle, PA, about 10 years ago where the chef decorated the plate with house-made ricotta and basil. My own personal Stack leans more toward the Greek flavor profile. (Sorry I cannot provide a picture as I am in England and all of the tomatoes are pink!) —cheese1227
heirloom tomatoes all reasonably the same size but all different varieties and colors (I would suggest Green Zebras, orange Jubilees, pinks Brandywines, beefy red Soldackis and Cherokee Purples)
yellow pear or sungold cherry tomatoes
Fleur de sel
Freshly-ground black pepper
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
¼ cup fresh oregano leaves, plus the tops of four oregano springs
Carefully slice off the tops and tails of each heirloom tomato. On the top end, you want to go deep enough to avoid having any of the tough bits attached to the stem in your top slice. On the tail end, you just slice off enough to remove the sign of the blossom and so that each tomato will sit nicely on the plate.
Then slice each tomato crosswise into four equal slices.
Slice half of the cherry tomatoes in half, leave the remainder whole.
Lay out your four plates and put the bottom of one tomato on each plate, sprinkle each with a bit of salt and some pepper. Then stack a slice of a different tomato on top of each plates slice, salt and pepper the new slice. Continue the process until you’ve got stacks of five slices on each plate. Arrange one whole cherry tomato and two halves on top of each stack and tuck in the top of one oregano sprig.
Sprinkle the plate with both feta cheese and oregano leaves and drizzle some olive oil over the cheese and leaves.
I am an excellent eater (I have been all my life). I’m a pretty good cook (Ask my kids!). And my passable writing improves with alcohol (whether it's the writer or the reader that needs to drink varies by sentence.). I just published my first cookbook, Green Plate Special, which focuses on delicious recipes that help every day cooks eat more sustainably.