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Heirloom Tomato Salad w/ Burrata and Rustic Ciabbata Croutons June 14, 2008

Posted by pcorcoran in Recipe, Salad.
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1 loaf fresh Ciabbata
Approx. 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. fresh oregano leaves
1-1/2 cloves fresh garlic
1-1/2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
3 lbs. heirloom tomatoes
1 tsp. fleur de sel
2 tbsp. julienned opal basil
2 tbsp. julienned green basil
1 lb. burrata cheese
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
Kosher salt
pepper

Croutons
Preheat oven to 375° F degrees. Slice the loaf into large 1-inch thick slices.  Remove the crusts.  Tear the bread into chunks of roughly 1-inch in diameter.  Slice thinly one clove of garlic.  Put the garlic in a microwaveable bowl with a 1/2 cup of extra-virgin olive oil and microwave on high setting for one minute.  Set aside, letting oil cool until it is safe to touch.  Remove the slices of garlic from oil and discard.  Toss the bread chunks lightly in the olive oil, moistening them slightly.  (Squeeze bread gently to remove excess olive oil, if necessary.)  Place bread chunks on a baking sheet and toast them for 12 minutes or so.  Serve within 2 hours.

Salad Dressing
Using a mortle and pestle, make a paste from oregano leaves, 1/2 clove of garlic, and 1/2 tsp. of salt.  Transfer to a mixing bowl.  Stir in red wine and balsamic vinegars.  Whisk in 6 tbsp. olive oil and set aside.

Salad
Julienne the basil, chop the parsley, slice the shallots, and set aside, separately.  Remove stems from cherry tomatoes and cut each in half.  Cut half the heirloom tomatoes into wedges.  Cut the other half into 1/4-inch think slices.  Season slices with fleur de sel and black pepper.  On each individual salad place, place a few tomato slices, drizzle a tiny amount of vinaigrette over tomatoes, and top with a little basil.

Slice the burrata cheese into wedges.  Put equal amount of burrata on each plate, tucked in with the tomato slices.

Toss the tomato wedges and the cherry tomatoes in a large bowl with the shallots, 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, a twist of fresh ground pepper, and 3 tbsp. vinaigrette (or more — adjust to taste).  Gently toss in the croutons.  Divide the tomatoes and croutons among the plates.  Scatter parsley and remaining basil over the salads and serve within 20 minutes.

Time to Prepare: 45 minutes to 1 hour

Difficulty: 2/10

Serves: 6 people

Adapted from Sunday Suppers at Lucques, by Suzanne Goin.

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