Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Heirloom Tomato Napoleons (Stack) with Parmesan Crisps


Lucky as I am to live in San Diego with my markets brimming with fresh, local veggies and fruits nearly year round, it is the summer months that bring me into produce heaven.  Corn, still warm from the fields, aromatic peaches soft to the touch and a new one for me - heirloom tomatoes lining the tables in an amazing array of colors.

It wasn't until just a few years ago that I had my first taste of heirloom tomato at my local Carlsbad Farmer's Market, but for 40 years prior I had avoided what I thought was the mushy, mealy, tin-like taste of fresh tomatoes.  Since my first taste, I now know what I was missing.

Years ago, while purchasing corn from my favorite local vendor he thrust a plate of juicy green and red tomato slices my direction to try.  Having no way to politely decline without offending him, I searched out the tiniest piece on the plate and prepared myself to smile as I just got it down.  What a surprise I was in for!  The sweet, not mealy or mushy at all, piece of tomato had my eyes shining brightly and my hand reaching for a second, and even larger slice!

Since that first taste I have embraced Heirloom Tomatoes, and even some of the plain old fashioned red, perfectly round kind as well.  I'll admit to still being picky and avoiding what appear to be "winter", or out of season tomatoes, but in summer, I'm getting my fill.

With a basket full of my favorite greenish/reddish variety which is flooding the market these days,  my daily email from Fine Cooking featured these Heirloom Tomato Napoleons (basically a stack) with Parmesan Crisps.  Making the crisps was a piece of cake by simply spreading Parmesan Cheese onto a silicone liner and baking.  13 minutes later the house was smelling divine and I had a beautiful sheet of golden cheese that crisped as it cooled.

Slicing into my gorgeous heirloom globes I nestled them atop a crisp red leaf lettuce which I had also picked up at my last market visit and began layering the slices with broken pieces of the crisped Parmesan.  Topping the plate with a quickly whisked together balsamic vinaigrette and torn basil from the garden I had a treat fit for summer.




Heirloom Tomato Napoleons (Stacks) with Parmesan Crisps
adapted from Fine Cooking - makes 2 servings
Printer Friendly Recipe

1 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, finely grated
Greens of your choice (fresh red lettuce leaves, spinach, arugula, etc)
2 large heirloom tomatoes
1/4 cup finely sliced fresh basil
2 slices sweet onion, left in small rings
3 Tbs balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs Grape Seed Oil
1/8 tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375º.  Grate the Parmesan Cheese as finely as you can and spread evenly over a silicone mat or parchment paper placed on a baking sheet.  Place in the oven and bake until the cheese is golden.  Begin checking cheese at about 10 minutes, but cheese may need to bake for up to an additional 5 minutes to become golden and browned.  Remove from oven and cool.


Assemble the salad.  Place torn greens onto serving plates.  Slice tomatoes into thick slices and stack, layering with broken pieces of the cooled Parmesan Crisps, over the greens.  Sprinkle desired amount of fresh basil over the stack and greens along with a few onion pieces.


Whisk together the balsamic, oil and mustard and drizzle over the tomatoes and greens.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.


Parmesan Crisps made with finely grated cheese
Note:  In today's Tomato Stack photos our cheese crisps were made with very thickly grated cheese.  I found the crisps to be overpowering and felt they were too thick.  Next time I will make cheese crisps from this recipe (with finely grated cheese) which I found last winter when we made Tomato Soup. 

36 comments:

  1. Your tomato stack is gorgeous! I was just out watering my tomatoes, I am so looking forward to them ripening so I can make things with fresh tomatoes that taste SO much better than anything from the grocery store.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are just rubbing it in now, lol. I'm hoping we have ours in two weeks or so. Great idea to use them this way. Hope you are having a great week.
    -Gina-

    ReplyDelete
  3. This looks so tasty- I cant believe I have never seen this before! I love hierloom tomatoes (esp the mini ones at Trader Joes)... This dish is what I like to call Sexy Healthy!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yummy, I love tomatoes and this recipe looks perfect!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. These look fantastic! Such a great idea.

    ReplyDelete
  6. That look AH-MAZING! I so wish I was eating that for dinner right now!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Your tomatoes look awesome!! This is beautiful! Can't wait for super ripe tomatoes from my garden!

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is almost too delicious to eat. Almost. I love heirloom tomatoes. Their color is so beautiful and the taste is amazing. Beautiful pictures as always.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This looks delicious. I love heirloom tomatoes and I bet the Parmesan crisps just added so much flavor to them! Definitely buzzed this.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow, this looks so yum! I heart tomato season. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Those tomatoes look amazing. I think I could eat them alone with just a little salt and pepper. I remember my grandparents growing tomatoes when I was young, and I just took their amazing taste for granted. I know your recipe says 2 servings but it looks so good I think mine would end up a meal for one.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This reminds me of a dish that I had at my wedding! I love heirloom tomatoes, and everything about this dish sounds incredible.

    ReplyDelete
  13. We are growing some black krim heirloom tomatoes this year, they still need a couple weeks, I can't wait! These parmesan crisps of yours have me intrigued, sounds tasty and I bet they would be great with all kinds of things....

    ReplyDelete
  14. Lucky you! The stop our farmers market over the summer because it is just too hot here. Your pictures are beautiful. They really capture the vivid array of colors.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Kim - I so wish I had a fork and knife and could dig right in! Lovely creation with the tomatoes.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Parmesan crisp sound so yummy .. I just love those! This Napoleons looks colorful and perfect.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love heirloom tomatoes...and farmer's markets :) This looks delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  18. That's just plain gorgeous! Look at those beautiful heirloom tomatoes... Mmmm.. And I must make those parmesan crisps soon... Thanks for sharing! :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. I have a strained relationship with tomatoes because of the texture...the 'mush' of which you speak. I love the flavor though. Your recipe sounds outstanding, great seasoning. I bet it would taste as yummy pureed and smeared on the crisps, no?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Absolutely beautiful! Love the pics of fresh produce too. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  21. It's all just so, so pretty! Heirloom tomatoes are just starting to show up around here and your post has me so excited!

    ReplyDelete
  22. This is just beautiful! I'm gonna try this...except I might add some grilled eggplant in with that. Tomatoes and eggplant soon coming to a farmer's market near me! I love having the farmer's market almost forcing food, though. I've had the best experience with people so proud of their product!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I must hit the farmer's market on Saturday! This tomato and parmesan salad is just mouthwatering and the colors are amazing. Enjoy your weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I know what you mean about the mealy tomatoes--we use them at work year-round and they're usually pale and unappealing, so much so that I was surprised when, a couple of weeks ago, I sliced one open and it was actually vibrant red and juicy. yay for tomato season! that's a gorgeous salad!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Please come make that for me--I'll pay your gas money!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Great recipe. I love Parmesan cheese and the crisps are such a clever way to taste all its goodness! Also they're pretty easy to make, thank you for sharing it!
    I recently wrote an article on how real Parmesan cheese is made and on its nutritional value. Check it out and let me know your thoughts, I would really appreciated it!
    http://www.theironyou.com/2011/06/how-parmesan-cheese-comes-to-life.html

    Peace

    Mike @TheIronYou

    ReplyDelete
  27. Yum, what a wonderful idea this is, I can't wait to try it out with my homegrown tomatoes! Thanks for the inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Delicious, Kim! I'm loving tomatoes this time of year!

    ReplyDelete
  29. oh man do this look delicious!! Woo hoo for tomato season...bring it on! I can't wait for my tomatoes to be ready to make this! :)

    ReplyDelete
  30. Thank you for such a simple, delicious, and beautiful post!!

    ReplyDelete
  31. The colors are superb! I love the balsamic vinaigrette drizzled over the edges of the tomatoes. Delicious!!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Now that is a nice way to enjoy some tomatoes!

    ReplyDelete
  33. These stacks definitely look gorgeous! I was the same way with heirlooms - they were always those "ugly" tomatoes and I never got why anybody would buy them. But I definitely learned my lesson after my first bite of one!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Love the colours of this dish! so Vibrant.. Looks delicious :D

    ReplyDelete

Your comments make our hearts sing!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...