A quick and easy recipe to dress and serve fresh tomatoes that gives them a salad-like quality without distracting from their true flavors.
My second-born sister, Rachel, will tell you stories about what it was like living with me as the oldest child. She’ll talk about living in my shadow at school and teachers who expected the same from her as they’d seen from me, not realizing our gifts lay in different areas. She’ll warn you about my sarcasm and how she constantly questioned whether I was telling the truth or leading her on, the level of sincerity on my face and in my voice the same for both.
If you asked me about her, however, I’d tell you of the blue-dress-wearing girl with the flax-colored plaits and an easy smile. I’d describe her sincere and genuine giving heart and her desire to see you happy. I would tell you not to ask her for too many favors because she has a hard time saying no and setting boundaries. Then I would pull out stacks of handwritten cards from birthdays and anniversaries and celebrations over the years, the product of a sister who is always ready with a gift and a note, expecting nothing but your smile in return.
Finally, I’d whine about how awful it is being sisters with someone who so easily cares for others when you are kind of terrible at it. Intentions = great. Following through = not ideal for this introvert with a habit of getting distracted by work. I beg you to feel pity on my cold, black soul.
I’ve tried over the years to come to terms with my strengths and weaknesses, but I still feel at odds, the distance between my intentions and my actions an ever-widening chasm. So I cook. Everyone needs to eat, right? I bake cakes and make dinner. I send cookies. My sister is the one with the thoughtfully picked out gift purchased weeks, if not months, beforehand wrapped in themed paper, the card with a meaningful quote and personalized note. I am the one in the passenger seat, a novel written in my head and a plate of warm food on my lap, the envelope between my teeth while I scrawl your name across the card as we pull into the driveway of your house. Honestly, I probably picked up the card en route.
So, Mom, for Mother’s Day, I’m suggesting food. Let’s say I’ll cook as your gift? Rachel has the card already written.
We did a trial run for Mother’s Day a few weeks ago, my sister Rachel and my niece Mila over for dinner. Actually, they were over because Rachel offered to help me alphabetize my bookshelves, which I had dismantled in a fit of organizational distress earlier. Giving. I agreed to feed her in return. This is how our relationship works.
Rachel hadn’t had avocado toast before, so I thoroughly shamed her, explaining her entire life had been a sham up until this point, and then I instructed (demanded, really, as you’d expect from the eldest) she look up images of how amazing it would be as we planned a shopping trip and our avocado bar brunch buffet became bigger and bigger.
Tomatoes were an obvious choice to include on the avocado toast bar, but we went beyond simply slicing them and decided to dress them instead. My sister instructed Ole to cut them thinner, thinner still as he shaved off slices. We tossed them in vinegar, lemon juice, and oil. We added garlic and shallots before sprinkling on fragrant herbs straight from the spring garden. This recipe isn’t much of a recipe at all, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth making.
Heirloom Tomato Salad
- 2 lbs heirloom tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced shallot or red onion
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley or other fresh herbs
- Thinly slice the tomatoes and layer in a shallow dish. Sprinkle with garlic and shallots. Drizzle the vinegar, lemon juice and oil over the tomatoes and toss gently to coat. Allow to sit and marinate for at least 10 minutes before serving.
- Before serving, season with sea salt and sprinkle with fresh herbs.
I’m over on Food Fanatic telling you about my avocado toast bar specifics, which is something you definitely need to do for your mom this coming weekend. Plus, you’ll get to see all the Dreamfarm products I used making my avocado toast and have a chance to win them for yourself, like the Smood for smashing, the Savel, Garject, and other ingenious products that make life in the kitchen easier.
Yes, I work for Food Fanatic, and their relationship with Dreamfarm allowed me to be compensated for the post on that site.