A tale of two tomato salads: cherry tomato and red plum salad with Meyer lemon and almond vinaigrette, and Catalan Food’s peach and tomato salad with goat cheese.

Cherry tomato  and red plum salad with Meyer lemon and almond vinaigrette

July felt interminable to me, and I think that’s because we haven’t done anything aside from eating out a handful of Friday evenings, taking the water taxi to check out the new Whole Foods location, and traveling to PA for our nephews’ birthdays. I still have four books left in my cookbook project, and I’ve decided to save them for this month when things get really boring due to more places closing down on account of the virus continuing to spread. (Please wear a mask when you’re out!). At least the end of July and the beginning of August means that tomato season is coming in hot, and as such, I feel like I need to share some new-ish tomato salads that will help you mix things up a bit.

Eastern peach and tomato salad with basil and goat cheese

The first is absurdly simple: a cherry tomato and red plum salad that is tossed in a flurry of Meyer lemon zest and dressed with an almond-Meyer lemon vinaigrette. It’s a riff of Stephaine Izard’s pistachio-lemon vinaigrette, and only came into fruition because I thought we had pistachios on hand when really we had an old bag of roasted peanuts that we promptly tossed. 

The second comes from Catalan Food and is a pretty classic pairing of stone fruit (here: peaches) and tomatoes, though this time they are dressed in a sherry vinaigrette and topped with a chiffonade of basil and blobs of goat cheese, and it’s a little more substantial that you could make it into a proper meal on its own with the inclusion of some serrano ham or prosciutto.

Either one would make a welcome addition to a summertime meal, and as tomato season roars to life, I’ll be making both of these salads with regularity.

Cherry tomato and red plum salad with Meyer lemon and almond vinaigrette

As inspired by Stephanie Izard’s pistachio vinaigrette

Serves 2

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes (we used Kumatos), halved
  • 2-3 red plums, pitted and sliced
  • Zest and juice from one Meyer lemon, juice kept separate from the zest
  • ½ cup chopped roasted, salted, almonds
  • 1 TB honey
  • 1 teaspoon sambal oelek
  • Scant ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Combine the tomatoes and the zest into a medium bowl and toss well to combine and set aside. In a small bowl, combine the almonds, lemon juice, honey, sambal, and whisk until well-combined. Stream the olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Dress the tomatoes with the vinaigrette, divide between two bowls, and serve immediately.

Eastern peach and tomato salad with goat cheese

Lightly adapted from Catalan Food by Daniel Olivella

Serves 2

  • 3 TB extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sherry or cava vinegar 
  • 1 lb tomatoes, heirloom and/or cherry tomatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
  • ½ lb peaches (1-2), pitted and cut into bite-size pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 TB of basil leaves, sliced into chiffonade
  • 3 ounces of soft goat cheese, kept cold

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Add the tomatoes and peaches and toss gently to coat. When ready to serve, divide the salad into two bowls, and then scatter the basil and add dollops of goat cheese to each and serve immediately.

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