As somebody who lives in an apartment without any outdoor space for container plants or veggies, I certainly envy all of you gardeners out there who are harvesting more produce than you know what to do with.
I suppose it’s possible that I would eventually get sick of eating zucchini or green beans day in and day out, but tomatoes? I’m not sure I could ever get my fill.
And for those of you growing heirloom tomatoes, you’re essentially sitting on solid gold. In Honolulu the normal price of organic, heirloom tomatoes out here is a whopping $8 a pound. Yowza.
So when they went on a super-duper, end-of-the-season, last hurrah sale, I scooped up as many as I could. And I didn’t have to look very far for inspiration. In fact, it’s been staring me right in the face for the past month and a half.
Yep, the cover recipe from the August 2012 Food and Wine magazine has been calling my name. It reminded me of the dishes I cooked from the Basque Country: simple, flavorful and healthy. Eggs, anchovies and parsley were common in many of those recipes.
Although I’m a fan of salty, pungent anchovies, I know some of you are a little skittish of the tinned fish. I’d encourage you to give the salad a shot anyways. After all, if you like authentic Caesar salad dressing, then you like anchovies. But if anchovies are truly a deal-breaker, you could turn to a more universally loved ingredient, ie., bacon, to provide the umami.
Heirloom Tomato Salad with Shallots and Anchovy Dressing
Yield: 4-6 side servings
* 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
* 4 anchovies, minced
* 1 garlic clove, minced
* 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
* 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced (if you use the small, Asian shallots, you'll need 2-3)
* 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
* 2 large eggs
* 2 pounds assorted heirloom tomatoes, preferably in a variety of colors (large tomatoes sliced, small ones halved)
* 2 Tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
In a small skillet, combine the olive oil, anchovies, garlic and lemon zest. In a small bowl, toss the shallot with the vinegar and let stand for 10 minutes.
In a small or medium saucepan bring water to a boil. Carefully lower the eggs into the water and cook (water should be at a constant low boil) for seven minutes. Remove the eggs using a slotted spoon and immediately put in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.
Arrange the tomatoes on a large serving platter and season with freshly ground salt and pepper. Scatter the shallot and vinegar over the tomatoes. Remove the eggs from the ice bath. Peel the eggs and the cut in half lengthwise. Place on the serving platter.
Warm the anchovy mixture over medium heat until it begins to simmer. Pour over the tomatoes and eggs. Top with chopped parsley and serve immediately.
Adapted from Food and Wine