Tomatoes are one of the hallmarks of summer. Stroll through any farmers market at the peak of summer and you will find an abundance of beautiful tomatoes of all varieties, shapes, and colors - from Sweet 100s and sungolds to green zebras to larger beefsteak heirloom varieties.
Although tomatoes are delicious on their own, a sprinkle of salt adds depth and dimension. Try it the next time you have any tomato. Cut two slices - try one on its own then sprinkle salt on the other and notice how much more flavorful it tastes. The salt helps balance the natural flavors of the tomato and gives depth making it more “tomato-y”, if you know what we mean!
The ideal tomatoes for this recipe are larger heirloom varieties as they are generally meatier and have more flavor. This recipe will boost the flavor of the tomatoes with the simple addition of garlic, black pepper, champagne vinegar, and some good extra virgin olive oil and you might be pleasantly surprised at how delicious it is!
(measurements are approximate*)
1 large (or 2 smaller) heirloom tomatoes (~500g)
24g (2 tbsp) champagne vinegar (most other vinegars like sherry, white wine, or rice vinegars will work as well. Just avoid white vinegar as the flavor is too strong)
1 clove garlic (finely minced or grated using a microplane)
48g (4 tbsp) extra virgin olive oil
Salt (to taste)
- In a medium sized bowl, combine 24g (2 tbsp) of champagne vinegar with the grated (or finely minced) garlic. Add a pinch of salt and freshly cracked black pepper (a couple of grinds on the pepper mill) into the bowl and give the mixture a swirl. Leave the bowl for 30 min to an hour to allow the garlic to degas and mellow out.
- After 30 minutes to an hour, add 48g (4 tbsp) of extra virgin olive oil to the garlic/vinegar mixture and whisk to emulsify.
- On a cutting board, slice the tomato horizontally into slices about ½” - ¾” thick. Take each slice and cut into approximately 1” pieces so that each piece is about the size of a bite.
- Sprinkle salt (to taste) on the tomato pieces ensuring all pieces are evenly salted. Tomatoes can actually take on quite a bit of salt so don't be afraid to use a bit more than you feel comfortable with. Salt helps release the juices in the tomato making it less watery and more intensely flavored. If you feel hesitant about the salt you're adding, don't worry. Start with what you're comfortable first, then add more as necessary. Remember, you can always add salt but not remove.
- Immediately add the salted tomatoes into the mixture (scrape in any tomato juices on the cutting board into the bowl). Using a spoon, carefully spoon the marinade onto the tomatoes so all the pieces are coated. Let it sit for 5 minutes, and repeat. Taste the liquid and add more salt and/or black pepper, if necessary. Let the tomatoes sit in the marinade for at least 30 minutes to let all the flavors meld together before serving.
Pro tip: Reserve the leftover liquid after finishing the tomatoes to use as a dressing!
* We recommend using weights as a measurement for more consistent and precise results when following recipes.