Say, you ever tried a heirloom tomato?
Now, there are not many times in my life that I will use the two following words to describe them (and I am well aware that it hasn’t been cool to say since 2004), but occasionally I come across something new that gets me all sorts of excited and leaves me no choice but to shamelessly bring them out: HOT DAAAAAMN!
There. I said it. That should give you some idea of how truly epic heirloom tomatoes are, right?
You see, it’s not as if they are superior to regular tomatoes. Wait. I change my mind: They totally are completely superior to regular tomatoes and I’m about to tell you why.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not going to sit here and knock the humble cherry tomato – when it’s in the right salad it can be just peachy. Hell, it goes with out saying that the oh-SO juicy plum variety are what can take a simple Italian dish to the next level – but to be frank, there really is nothing quite like a heirloom tomato. Not only are they different in flavour (each colour brings something unique to the plate!), but they are pretty damn striking, too. I like to call them the supermodels of the fresh produce world… They are effortlessly chic and elevate an otherwise ‘everyday’ dish simply just by waltzing right in and taking centre stage.
Yep, from the vibrant green to the sunshine yellow; the seductive deep red to the slightly more subtle pinky tones – we really are spoiled with all the variety of heirloom goodness that we have on offer right now, my friends. So I say why choose? Go all out and get as many different colours as you can! That is exactly what will make this salad the ultimate late summer dish to crank up the heat – even if it is starting to feel that little bit nippier in the air. We still have a few weeks left of the season and this is the perfect way to squeeze out the last of it before all things ‘pumpkin pie’ and ‘apple crumble’ take over every food feed on social media, so let’s bloody well make sure we make the most of it! Who’s with me?
This salad is not only a total breeze to prep, but it really does take the idea of ‘salads being boring’ and laugh right in it’s unimaginatively bland face. I’ll be the first to say it’s a little mixy matchy, but the more variety you have going on – the more goodness, the more colour and the more FLAVOUR you have!
From the roasted yellow squash (which you could sub for regular green courgette if you can’t get your hands on these)…
To the show stopping tomatoes (obvs) mixed with red onion and herbs…
All combined with my favourite cruciferious vegetable, the cauliflower – which will be simply roasted up with thyme and rosemary. Yes, yes, YES!
The final flourish has got to be the warm toasty hazelnuts. I seem to have a slight addiction to these guys right now and it’s all for good reason! They’re a real easy to way to add a hit of healthy fats and protein to a salad as well as a nutty crunch that makes every bite a party for the mouth. What’s not to like?
Try making this for your next feast alfresco, or on a rainy grey day to brighten things up a little. You could even go crazy and batch make it so you’re sorted for your ‘not sad desk lunch’ the following day – but be warned: Any leftovers are likely to be hovered up before they even have a chance to see tomorrow. Trust me, I can vouch for that…
Enjoy, my loves!
- ½ cauliflower, chopped in to large florets
- 1 medium yellow squash, chopped
- 1 cup mixed heirloom tomatoes, chopped
- ½ red onion, finely chopped
- 1 handful fresh herbs, finely chopped
- ½ lemon
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- rosemary and thyme (dried or fresh would work)
- ¼ cup hazelnuts, chopped
- Preheat the oven and place the cauliflower on to a lined baking tray. Drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper and add your herbs. In another tray, do the same with the squash. Roast for 40 minutes until all the veg are nice and tender and put to the side.
- For the tomato salad, simply mix the tomatoes with the red onion, lemon juice, a generous drizzle of olive oil, herbs and salt and pepper.
- Serve up on a plate with the cooked veg and toast the hazelnuts in a pan quickly until fragrant before sprinkling on top. Garnish with more parsley and dress it up with a drizzle more olive oil to finish. Bon appetit!