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Food & Entertaining

Stacked Heirloom Tomatoes

Author: Sydney Dye
Issue: June, 2015, Page 64
Flavorful heirloom tomatoes set
the stage for a superb summertime treat


A plump, fresh-from-the-vine tomato is one of the quintessential tastes of summer. Whether cut into thick wedges for a salad, sliced thin on top of a margarita pizza or eaten whole like an apple, tomatoes provide a sweet-and-sour taste we just can’t get enough of. Our recipe for Heirloom Tomato Stacks layers slices of characterful heirloom tomatoes on top of lightly toasted sour dough rounds. A healthy sprinkling of bacon and blue cheese crumbles and fresh basil leaves creates a light yet decadent dish that’s bound to be a summer time staple.
 

Serves 8


Heirloom Tomato Stacks

    8     slices firm sourdough bread
    1/4  pound sliced bacon (about 6 slices)
    6     tablespoons olive oil
    1/2  cup finely chopped shallots
    4     tablespoons Sherry vinegar
    6     assorted medium heirloom
tomatoes (3 lbs. total), cut into 1/4 to 1/3 inch-thick slices
    30   small fresh basil leaves
    4     ounces blue cheese, crumbled,
at room temperature
    Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Chef’s Notes:
•A glass can be used in place of a cookie cutter to create the toasts.
•Toasts can be made 3 hours ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.
•Dressing can be made 1 hour ahead and chilled, covered. Reheat before using.
•Tomatoes can be sliced 1 hour ahead and kept covered at room temperature.





Sydney Dye is a home gardener, chef and owner of First Fig Culinary Adventures in Scottsdale. (firstfig.net)
1. Cut one 3-inch round from each bread slice using a cookie cutter and set aside. Cook bacon slices in a heavy skillet over moderate heat until crisp, then transfer to paper towel to drain. Re-serve bacon fat from skillet in small bowl. Do not clean the skillet.
 
2. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in same skillet over moderate heat until hot, but not smoking. Add four bread rounds and cook until golden brown (about 3 minutes total), turning once. Transfer toasts to a cooling rack and season with salt and pepper.

Repeat process with four remaining bread rounds and additional 1 1/2 tablespoons oil.

3. Cook shallots in 2 tablespoons of reserved bacon fat and remaining olive oil in a small, heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring often until softened. Add vinegar while stirring and allow to simmer until emulsified (about 1 minute). Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper and cover to retain warmth.

4. Crumble cooled bacon. Arrange individual bread rounds on eight plates and divide fresh tomato slices equally, stacking the slices on top of the bread rounds. Add some basil and crumbled bacon between tomato slices before sprinkling blue cheese, re-maining basil and bacon crumbles over and around stacks. Spoon warm shallot dressing over tomato stacks and finish by seasoning with salt and pepper.

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