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
fresh herbs (any combination of parsley, basil, and mint), chopped
white wine or champagne vinegar
mild extra virgin olive oil
cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced (not all cucumbers need to be seeded -- taste and decide)
heirloom tomatoes (medium-sized), cored and sliced in wedges
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.
Phyllis Grant is an IACP finalist for Personal Essays/Memoir Writing and a three-time Saveur Food Blog Awards finalist for her blog, Dash and Bella. Her essays and recipes have been published in a dozen anthologies and cookbooks including Best Food Writing 2015 and 2016. Her work has been featured both in print and online for various outlets, including Oprah, The New York Times, Food52, Saveur, The Huffington Post, Time Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, Tasting Table and Salon. Her memoir with recipes, Everything Is Out of Control, is coming out April 2020 from Farrar Straus & Giroux. She lives in Berkeley, California with her husband and two children.