This Heirloom and Cherry Tomato Salad is featured in “A Savory Puzzle,” one of our stories in the running for an EDDY award. Please vote today: http://www.ediblefeast.com/eddyawards/vote/9363/savory-puzzle
From A SAVORY PUZZLE, Finding clues in the pastry at the Growlers’ Arms.
Chef Brian Ventura’s inspiration for this summer salad comes directly from his experience touring the Irish countryside: “I can see the farmer making his cheese and growing the herbs and tomatoes in his garden, taking fresh buttermilk to make the dressing. At least that’s what I would do if ever I’m blessed enough to have a real farm.”
Brian buys the anise hyssop and lovage from White Crane Springs Ranch at the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. Both are wonderful plants to grow in a home garden, and it’s not too hard to find starts or seeds at your local nursery.
2 handfuls frilly red mustard greens
3 large heirloom tomatoes (choose a mix of colors and flavors)
½ basket cherry tomatoes
1 bunch lovage
1 bunch anise hyssop (leaves plus flowers)
¼ pound Coolea Cheddar
Maldon sea salt
For the dressing:
½ teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
¾ tablespoon lemon juice
¾ cup aioli
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon crème fraîche
1 tablespoon chopped anise hyssop leaves
1 tablespoon chopped lovage leaves
Maldon sea salt
To prepare the dressing, combine the vinegars and lemon juice in a bowl. Whisk in aioli, Dijon, buttermilk, and crème fraîche. Finish with the herbs and salt to taste.
In a large bowl, salt and dress the mustard greens with some of the dressing, then arrange on a large serving plate. Cut the large tomatoes into bite-size wedges and the cherry tomatoes in half. Toss them in the bowl with additional dressing, salt, and 3 to 4 torn lovage and anise hyssop leaves. Once those are topping the mustard greens, shave some Coolea Cheddar over the top, and finish with some small anise hyssop flower petals.