This has been a rough year for our vegetable garden, and while my heirloom tomatoes usually supply enough for an army, right now they are struggling to produce their usual bounty. Meagre as the offerings may be, the tomatoes that are growing have tons of flavor. Some favorite varieties — such as kaki coing, black prince, noire de crimée, and striped germain — offer intense pleasure. At every meal, I slice up a rainbow selection, shower them with a touch of fleur de sel, homemade lemon vinaigrette, and tiny leaves of basil from my amazing basil “trees” in the courtyard.
This simple platter is a favorite way to enjoy a tomato's fresh juicy sweetness. Here I have topped the tomato slices with ruffles of the firm Swiss cheese Tête de Moine, shaved with a special machine called a girolle, but any cheese of choice can be used here.
Heirloom Tomato Platter
6 servings | Equipment: A cheese girolle, a mandolin or a very sharp knife; a large serving platter.
6 ripe heirloom tomatoes (about 1 1/4 pounds; 625 g), preferably of varied colors
6 thin ruffles of Tête de Moine cheese, created with a cheese girolle if available (see Note)
A handful of fresh herbs, such as green basil, purple basil, shiso and Delfino cilantro, rinsed and patted dry
About 2 tablespoons Lemon-Olive Oil Dressing (below)
Fleur de sel
Lemon-Olive Oil Dressing
About 1 1/4 cups (310 ml) Equipment: A small jar with a lid.
1/4 cup (60 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
Fine sea salt
1 cup (250 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
Arrange the tomatoes in overlapping layers on the serving platter. Garnish with the cheese and herbs. Drizzle the dressing over all and season lightly with fleur de sel.
Note: A cheese girolle can be found in my amazon store, . If you do not have a girolle, cut the cheese into paper-thin slices with a mandoline or a very sharp knife.
Place the lemon juice and salt in the jar. Cover and shake to dissolve the salt. Add the oil and shake to blend. Taste for seasoning. (Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.) Shake again at serving time to create a thick emulsion.