- 2 lbs heirloom cherry tomatoes
- 4-5 ounces smoked mozzarella string cheese, or block cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon hickory salt or other smoked salt
- 6 cups of any kind of lettuce
- Rinse the tomatoes and remove any stems. Cut each one in half and place in a large bowl.
- Slice the string cheese into thin coins. If you are not using string cheese, slice the block cheese into thin slivers. Add to the tomatoes.
- Sprinkle the tomato mixture with hickory salt and toss to combine.
- Place a cup of lettuce on a plate and top with the tomato salad. Serve at room temperature for the best flavor.
I have an addiction, one that can only be indulged for a few weeks every year. Heirloom tomatoes rule my kitchen late in the summertime. I hardly go a day without chopping them up into a dish, slicing them onto a sandwich, or just sprinkling them with a little salt and eating them whole. At the farmer’s market we’ve been lucky to get many different kinds of heirloom cherry tomato, and I greedily scoop up a pint of each, weighing myself down with several pounds at a time. I can’t help myself. I love these little beauties, how some are sweet, some smoky, some tangy. So simple, so elegant. Each one is like a little work of art, no?
I could wax poetic all day about the heirloom tomato, but instead I will give you a “hardly recipe” for a salad I made up the other night. It began as an inspiration from the sweet and mild sungold variety. I wanted to set off the sweetness with something smoky, and luck would have it that I purchased some smoked mozzarella string cheese from a local cheesemaker. I sliced up the cheese into coins and tossed them into a bowl full of halved sungolds. The smokiness I craved was still not intense enough, so I sprinkled on some hickory salt from The Spice House. When I took a bite my tastebuds hummed with pleasure, and the whole thing took me about 10 minutes to throw together.
The next time I made the salad, I used four kinds of heirloom cherry tomato instead of just sungolds. The results were equally pleasing to the palate, but even more so to the eye. It’s so darn pretty I hardly want to eat it…okay, not really, but it is a colorful dish. If you can’t find smoked mozzarella or hickory salt just use plain. It’s worth the effort to seek out a smoked cheese at least. You don’t need to get string cheese either. Shaved slices of mozzarella would work as well. I just like how the coin slices look in the final dish. In a few weeks time I will find myself staring longingly at these photos, you can count on that.