When I first saw the heirloom tomato with blue cheese dressing recipe in Barefoot Contessa at Home by Ina Garten (great cookbook, by the way), I wasn’t enthused. I despise mayonnaise and the dressing includes a hearty dose. Instead, I made a tangy, tasty vinaigrette to serve over my heirlooms. It was very tasty and I’ve made it again and again since.
But the longer I blog, the more open-minded I get. Seriously. It’s amazing how many new foods I’ve given a chance in the past two — nearly three — years. Fiddlehead greens, kale, and several varieties of squash were all new to new. Forget about buffalo meat (though I haven’t cooked that one myself … yet). And along the way, I have stopped being deterred by ingredients like mustard — which isn’t so bad when mixed without things for a vinaigrette.
So when I discovered an heirloom tomato in my CSA box this week, I knew — I just knew — I had to make this salad as Ina intended. What a concept, right? Actually following a recipe?
Now I don’t know why I waited so long to give this a fair try.
- 3 lbs heirloom tomatoes (I used a mix of orange grape tomatoes, yellow heirloom tomatoes, and red tomatoes)
- salt and pepper (she calls for kosher, I used sea salt)
- 1/2 lb blue cheese (she calls for Roquefort, but I used a regular blue)
- 1 cup mayonnaise (I used light mayo)
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp tarragon wine vinegar (I subbed in a light herb vinegar)
- Cut the tomatoes into large slices, about 1/4 inch thick. Cut the grape tomatoes, if using, in half. Arrange all the tomatoes on a platter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Combine half of the blue cheese with the mayo, heavy cream and vinegar. Whisk together until smooth. You do want some chunks to remain.
- Spoon the dressing over the tomatoes. Top with the remaining blue cheese (crumbled).
And yes, you can refrigerate leftovers — it’s great on the second day too.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of four cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to a tween and a teen, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.