Califonia Bountiful
Side Dish

Heirloom tomatoes with basil salt and ice lettuce

Basil salt can be stored in the freezer for uses other than accenting a platter of heirloom tomatoes. Try it tossed with popcorn or sprinkled on avocado toast, bruschetta or peach toast.

Chefs Justin Wangler and Tracey Shepos Cenami
Jackson Family Wines, Santa Rosa

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1 bunch basil
1⁄4 cup kosher salt
1 1⁄2 tsp. sugar
1 3⁄4 lb. heirloom tomatoes, in assorted colors
1⁄4 lb. cherry tomatoes
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Ice lettuce, for serving (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper


Pick leaves off the basil bunch, reserving 8 small leaves for garnish. You should have about 4 cups loosely packed leaves. Put leaves in a food processor, add salt and process for 1 minute. Add sugar and pulse for 10 seconds. Spread basil salt in a thin layer on a plate and microwave for 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, for a total of 3 to 5 minutes, until moisture is removed. Let cool to room temperature and then sift through a fine mesh sieve into a small bowl. Transfer to an airtight container and keep in the freezer until ready to use.

Slice large tomatoes into various shapes, such as circles, half circles and wedges. Cut cherry tomatoes in half. Divide tomatoes evenly among individual serving plates and drizzle each plate with 1 tbsp. olive oil. Tear reserved basil leaves and garnish plates, along with ice lettuce, if using. Sprinkle to taste with basil salt and pepper.

Serves 4

Wine recommendation: Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Pinot Gris

Recipe reprinted with permission from "Season," by Justin Wangler and Tracey Shepos Cenami, copyright 2018, published by Cameron + Company. Photos by Alan Campbell. See Book Reviews for more information.


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