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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Heirloom Tomato Salad

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The Heirloom Tomato goes back generations. When in season, you’ll see them in a variety of colors as well as being multi-colored. Unique because they are beautifully misshapen. If that wasn’t enough, they now come in cherry size! I love to present the tomatoes in different ways, for example; I’ll cut a few into wedges, the cherry tomatoes I’ll leave whole.

Bocconcini are small mozzarella cheeses shaped into small balls. They come in a container and the cheese in set in whey or water. They add a creaminess to the Heirloom Tomato Salad. To finish, add fresh basil leaves and finely chopped tarragon.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: Chef’s knife, large mixing bowl, large serving platter

Ingredients:
4 heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges
2 pints of heirloom cherry tomatoes, whole
6 to 8 whole basil leaves
3 tablespoons of tarragon leaves, finely chopped
1 tub (18 to 20 ct) of Bocconcini, drained, dried, and seasoned
1 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
*E.V.O.O. to taste

Ingredients For Bocconcini Seasoning:
1 tub (18 to 20 ct.)  Bocconcini that have been drained and dried
2 tablespoons of *E.V.O.O.
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of dried basil
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper

Directions:
In a small bowl mix together all the ingredients for the Bocconcini seasoning. Place the drained, and really well dried, Bocconcini into the seasoning mixture, toss to combine.  In a large mixing bowl add the tomato wedges, cherry tomatoes, and seasoned Bocconcini. Add the Kosher salt, black pepper, and chopped tarragon leaves. Gently toss the tomatoes and Bocconcini together. To finish, place whole basil leaves throughout.

When plating, drizzle each serving with *E.V.O.O. (A splash of red wine vinegar is optional).

*E.V.O.O. is Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

 

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Winter Park Farmers’ Market

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There is nothing better than getting up early on a Saturday morning and heading out to the local Farmers’ market. This one is located a little north of the College Park area. They are amazing local farmers and just regular people who make artisanal cheeses, loaves of bread, and other products who are ready and willing to sell their products to the community.

Let me take you on a tour of this fabulous outdoor market, where there’s something for everyone!

 

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California Style BLT With Avocado

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A Bacon Lettuce And Tomato sandwich is a staple in American cuisine. Having only a few simple items means, I need to use the best ingredients I can find. That way I can take this sandwich to a different level of deliciousness. A thick cut apple smoked  bacon, thick sliced heirloom tomatoes and leafy greens makes for a great sandwich. Avocado gives this sandwich a taste of California.

Then there’s the bread. It has to be one that compliments what’s inside. I think buttered and toasted Ciabatta bread is the answer.

Ingredients:
8 slices of thick cut apple wood bacon
2 heirloom tomatoes, sliced thick
leafy greens
1 sliced avocado
pesto mayo

Directions:
Preheat the oven at 400 degrees F.
Place the rack in the lower third of the oven. I use a foiled covered baking sheet with a rack. This makes for crispier bacon because it cooks the bacon from all sides.  The bacon should take anywhere from 15-20 minutes. Check the bacon progress after 12 minutes. Once fully cooked, transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towel.

On medium heat, in a cast iron skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Then rub one side of the bread in the butter and flip it over and rub the other side. Once both sides have butter on them I let them toast upright in the pan. I’d say about 2 minutes per side.

I like to spread a light coating of *pesto mayo on each the top and bottom slice before placing the lettuce down first, then the bacon, then tomato, with a very light sprinkling of Kosher salt, and then the avocado with another sprinkling of Kosher salt and black pepper. Finally finishing off with the top slice of buttered Ciabatta. This is my secret to making a great BLT With Avocado.

*pesto mayonnaise
Mix 1/2 cup of mayonnaise with 1 tablespoon of fresh basil pesto.

 

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