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Vine-ripened tomatoes with goat cheese and basil vinaigrette

Updated: Mar 22

It is too hot for salads that need too much work. Here is a straightforward salad that is a whiz to make.

The essence is in great ingredients: summer sweet tomatoes, fresh organic lettuce and a small batch of goat's cheese. For this salad, I used Begum Victoria's soft pepper cheese, but you can use any soft cheese variety of soft or goat's cheese that you like.

This salad shouts summer, with fresh leaves that are crisp and light, sun-ripened cherry tomatoes fresh off the vine, both from Sadashivnagar Greens and a beautiful basil-infused vinaigrette. The salad plays with the sweet-tart from the tomatoes, acid from the herbed vinaigrette, and creaminess from the cheese. It is simple, elegant, and flavoured, making it the perfect summer salad.

Deborah Madison was one of the first chefs to embrace the farm-to-table movement when she opened her restaurant Greens, one I have dined at a few times. Her cookbooks are lovely, and this one, in particular, is amazing. Simple recipes that are loaded with flavour. Like me, you should get all her cookbooks; each is a masterpiece!

For more wonderful recipes from this cookbook, click here.


For the vinaigrette:

2 tablespoons Champagne or white wine vinegar

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup basil leaves, sliced

Salt, to taste

For the salad:

1 lb ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped

1/2 lb cherry tomatoes, red, yellow, or a mix, halved longitudinally

1 head watercress or red lettuce

Salt, to taste

1/4 teaspoon pepper

3 oz. goat cheese

12-15 green or black olives

Basil to garnish

Mix all the ingredients for the dressing and allow to sit for 2-3 hours at room temperature.

In individual bowls, line them with a couple of green leaves. Top with the tomatoes and olives. Sprinkle some salt and pepper. Top with crumbled or a slice of goat cheese.

When ready to serve, strain the dressing and add 2 teaspoons per bowl. Garnish with a couple of basil leaves.

Serve immediately.

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