Our local markets are in full swing with incredibly tasty ripe tomatoes. Heirlooms in all shapes, colors and sizes, little cherry sized gems, or the giant beefsteak red guys are scattered on tables throughout the market and are quite simply hard to resist. Last week my favorite organic stand featured packages of Baby Heirlooms and I found myself returning home with not only two of the packages but a bagful of assorted green, red and yellow larger sized heirlooms to boot. As timing would have it my own backyard cherry tomato plant is prolific with perfectly ripe fruits of its own and I have my hands full of tomatoes.
Looking to use as many of these little guys as possible, Cherry Tomato Salad came to be. One of those creations where measurements more equal "what we have on hand" rather than precise cups and spoons, the salad is versatile and has worked with so many different veggies, but it always serves to please.
A few handfuls of cherry tomatoes get you started along with about half a can of beans. Preferring Garbanzo Beans (chickpeas) or White Beans, we toss them with the tomatoes, add in a little onion (red, white or even scallion) and toss gently with white balsamic and a little oil. Salt and Pepper bring out a little zing and the oiled arugula serves as a base. Topped with a sprinkle of crumbled blue cheese, you have a bright salad singing summer's praises!
Cherry Tomato Salad with Beans, Blue Cheese and ArugulaThe measurements below are more of a guideline... I have a friend who doubles the dressing and another who prefers more oil in the oil/vinegar ratio. Below is close to what I use, though I usually just add a splash or two from the bottle without measuring. For a higher bean to tomato ratio use the whole can of bean and you will have Bean Salad with Cherry Tomatoes, Blue cheese and Arugula! Makes two hearty or three smaller servings.
2-3 handfuls cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 can beans, drained and rinsed (we prefer either garbanzo or white beans)
1-2 slices of onion, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
2 Tbs white balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 Tbs oil (I use an herbed garlic olive oil)
oil to drizzle
blue cheese, crumbled
salt and pepper to taste
In a medium bowl place the quartered tomatoes, drained and rinsed beans and chopped onion. Drizzle with the olive oil and vinegar and toss lightly to coat. Season with salt and pepper and taste... adjust seasonings if necessary.
When ready to serve take a handful or two of washed arugula and toss lightly with a drizzle of oil. Place on a serving plate and top with the tomato mixture. Top with crumbled blue cheese and serve.