To round out my short series on summer salads with seasonal fruit, I nominate this satisfyingly tasty little number that makes the most of late-August tomatoes in all their glorious, full-bodied ripeness.
It comes from 101 Cookbooks, another of my favorite websites for innovative yet homey recipes (many that reinvent the way I think about using oft-used produce) that you immediately want to tuck into with a great big fork or spoon.
The original recipe calls for heirloom tomatoes, but I made do with an abundant selection of non-heirlooms and I don’t think I missed out too much in the flavor department. The roasted tomatoes are luscious.
Before baking (left) and after.
Tomato Salad with mozzarella, capers and almonds
Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish (or 2 to 3 as a main depending on appetite). You can roast the tomatoes in advance and preserve them in a jar covered in oil. Drain before continuing with the recipe.
2 lbs/1 kg tomatoes (a mix of multicolored small and cherry tomatoes)
1/4 cup/60 ml extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp brown sugar or maple syrup (I used maple syrup)
a couple of pinches of fine grain sea salt
1/3 cup toasted almond slices
2 tbsp capers, fried in a bit of oil
6 oz /170 grams good quality mozzarella (I used a firm buffalo mozzarella), sliced into thick slivers
1-2 cups of torn lettuce leaves (I shredded some romaine)
a generous drizzle of lemon oil (I used 1 tbsp of O&Co lemon oil)
Chive or herb flowers or minced chives to serve
- Roast about half the tomatoes. Preheat the oven to 350°F (or 175°C), and place the oven rack in the top third of the oven.
- Toss the tomatoes you’ll be roasting gently but completely in a bowl along with the olive oil, maple syrup and salt. Arrange them in a single layer, cut side up, on a rimmed baking tray. Bake, without stirring, until the tomatoes shrink a bit and start to caramelize around the edges, 45 to 60 minutes.
- Set them aside to cool.
- When ready to serve, gently toss the roasted and raw tomatoes with the lemon oil, most of the almonds, the capers, mozzarella and lettuce. Taste and season the mix with a bit more salt if desired.
- Serve the salad with the remaining almonds and herb flowers or chives scattered on top.
- We enjoyed this with some crusty nut bread, parma ham, and a lovely rosé wine.