Heirloom Tomato Salad with Gorgonzola, Shaved Cauliflower, Swiss Chard Pesto & Cherry Tomato-Coriander Vinaigrette

This composed summer salad offers contrasts in colors, textures and temperatures while remaining simple and light. Each component can also stand on its own as an accompaniment to serve with a local fish, such as fluke or striped bass.
June 01, 2015


Place Gorgonzola in freezer 2 hours before serving.

Using a mandolin or sharp knife, shave 5 cauliflower florets into very thin slices (reserving remaining cauliflower for another use). Place slices in a bowl and add a pinch of salt, a few drops of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Set aside.

Place Swiss chard, basil, toasted pine nuts, pinch salt, 1 clove crushed garlic and 4 tablespoons olive oil in the bowl of a food processor. Let run about 30 seconds, or until all ingredients are well blended and smooth. Set pesto aside.

In a sauté pan, heat butter over medium heat with 1 tablespoon olive oil, red pepper flakes, ground coriander and 2 cloves thinly sliced garlic. Once the garlic is lightly browned, add cherry tomatoes and stir for 5 seconds. Remove from heat. Add a pinch of salt and vinegar. Cover pan with lid and let sit for 10 minutes to let the tomatoes break down slightly. Transfer to a bowl and top with remaining olive oil.

Divide Cherokee tomato slices among 6 salad plates. Add 3 dollops pesto to each plate. Spoon warm cherry tomato vinaigrette on top, then lay out shaved cauliflower around the plate. Remove Gorgonzola from the freezer and grate over tomatoes. Finish with sea salt and serve immediately. Serves 6 as a first course.

Visit EdibleRhody.com for an Edible Rhody Minute video with Chef Allaire to learn how to make his beautiful heirloom tomato salad.

About this recipe

Chef/Owner Richard Allaire, Metacom Kitchen, Warren

WINE PAIRING: 2014 Commanderie de Peyrassol Rosé, Cotes de Provence, France. One of our most popular rosés, the 2014 vintage has gorgeous color and beautiful light red fruit flavors including tart strawberries and raspberries. It finishes with an expressive mineral-laden zing that cleanses the palate and gets you ready for another bite or sip. Its herbaceous aromas and flavors like basil, rosemary and oregano will add additional layers of complexity to this already delicious tomato recipe. Cheers to summer!—Eric Taylor, Bottles Fine Wines & Spirits, Providence

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  • 3 ounces Gorgonzola cheese
  • 1 head cauliflower (preferably purple), broken into florets
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 lemon
  • 8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, washed, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 10 fresh green basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 3 cloves garlic, 1 crushed, 2 thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground coriander seeds
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 6 medium-sized heirloom tomatoes (preferably Cherokee Purple), sliced
  • Flaky sea salt to finish
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