heirloom and cherry tomatoes with peach-basil vinaigrette

We suffer from bland, watery, and mushy tomatoes most of the year, but each summer, we get a reprieve when these deeply-colored, and tasty fruits make their appearance at farmers market and grocery stores.  There are so many varieties, ranging in size, color, and shape.  Depending on the type, tomatoes vary in taste, from highly acidic to very sweet.

Today at the farmers market, there were tomatoes of all kinds to pick from, piled high on tables under canopies.  I went from stall to stall, taking my time to narrow down my choices to a basket of multi-colored cherry tomatoes and a few odd, mishapen heirlooms ranging in color from garnet to orange to lemon yellow.  Since the tomatoes were at its best, perfectly ripe and bursting with juice, I wanted to showcase them by simply slicing and dressing them with a fruity vinaigrette.

In addition to tomatoes, peaches are also at the height of its season.  Among the varieties I tasted at the farmers market, I really enjoyed the donut peaches the most.  They are unusually flat, resembling a donut, thin-skinned, and tasted very sweet. They were a good complement the slightly acidic, bold flavors of the tomatoes.

I overheard one of the fruit vendors tell a woman that he makes a version of the Caprese Salad, substituting peaches for tomatoes.  That was the spark I needed.  A quick internet search yielded a recipe that I adapted to make a simple vinaigrette using the peaches and basil, two of summer’s prominent flavors.

I did not purée half of the peaches in the vinaigrette I used in the photos above.  I got the idea to do so after making the initial batch, so I made a second one that turned out to be superior to the first so I changed the recipe to include that step.  I liked leaving the other half of the peaches diced as a nice contrast to the tomatoes.  Either way, it is a tasty vinaigrette.

Heirloom and Cherry Tomatoes with Fresh Peach and Basil Vinaigrette
Yields approximately 3/4 cup

8 ounces peaches, cut into cubes, separated
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (I used white balsamic vinegar to keep vinaigrette lighter in color and flavor.)
1/2 clove garlic, minced (I just wanted a hint of garlic, so used a minimal amount.  Use more, if desired.)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh basil,chiffonade plus more for garnish
Variety of tomatoes, as much as desired, sliced

Place half of the peaches in the bowl of the food processor and purée. Set aside the rest of the peaches. Add the balsamic vinegar, garlic, brown sugar, pepper and salt and pulse to combine. Add the olive oil and blend. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the rest of the cubed peaches and the chiffonade of fresh basil.

To assemble, arrange tomato slices on a platter. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Whisk the dressing and drizzle on top of the tomatoes, to taste. Garnish with more basil. Serve immediately.

Adapted from Southern Living.

© Daisy’s World, 2011-2012. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Daisy’s World with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


12 thoughts on “heirloom and cherry tomatoes with peach-basil vinaigrette

  1. Pingback: Cherry Tomato and Yellow Squash Crumble | dishes and dishes

  2. Pingback: Weekend Highlights – Noteworthy Articles by Fellow Bloggers – July 14, 2012 « Granny's Parlour

  3. I could make a meal of your colorful and certainly sweet salad! In our everyday hurry, or perhaps we are simply absentminded, we forget how much the appearance of the plate nourishes, to the point where a simple salad makes such an impact on the senses that we feel it alone can replenish our energies, and in fact it can. Thank you for the creative reminder.

  4. Pingback: CHERRY TOMATOES! « PM27's Blog

  5. Nothin’ better than fresh fruit and veggies with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper. I love peach and tomato together (especially with cilantro — they make salsa magic together)! 🙂

    All this needs is a fancy cracker slathered with a bit of goats cheese… om nom nom.

    • Smacking my forehead righ now….why didn’t I think of the goat cheese on a cracker thing. That would have been really awesome. I guess I’ll have to make more. Thanks for the delicious idea!


  6. What a great salad! Screaming summer with vibrant color and stellar flavors! I had never thought to combine tomatoes and peaches, a delectable pairing. Can’t wait to try your recipe!

  7. I can’t wait to try this! We have some time to wait for heirlooms and peaches in the PacNW, as you know. 🙂

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