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RECIPE: Tomato-on-tomato salad

Cookbook author Amy Thielen shared this recipe from her new book, "Company."

We've reached peak tomato season in many gardens. So what do you do with that bounty of delicious produce?

Cookbook author Amy Thielen shared a tomato-filled recipe suggestion from her new book, "Company," while visiting KARE 11 Saturday at the Minnesota State Fair.

"Make this at the peak of tomato season, when the beefsteak slicers are so rich and ripe they taste wild, almost gamy," Thielen writes. "With perfect tomatoes, I find that the usual embellishments—balsamic vinegar, shaved Par- mesan, capers—distract from what should be essentially a lightly salted fruit salad. This one is nothing more than pure, luscious tomato-on-tomato action."

There is still a little work to do ahead of time, though:

"If you marinate a few handfuls of halved cherry tomatoes (including yellow ones for visual contrast) with some lemon juice, salt, a shot of good extra-virgin olive oil, and a few choice aromatics and let them sit on the counter, they will express their juices and basically make their own dressing," Thielen said. "Young or small-leaf basil looks and tastes best in this salad, because mature basil gets kind of licorice-y, but use whatever you’ve got."

Tomato-on-tomato Salad

  • 2 large dead-ripe beefsteak tomatoes (about 2 pounds) 
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more for the beefsteaks 
  • 6 ounces (1 heaped cup) small cherry tomatoes 
  • Freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling 
  • 1 large sprig (2 small-leaf sprigs) basil, leaves removed and torn
  • 1⁄4 cup shelled pistachios, chopped 


  1. Slice the beefsteak tomatoes—thick or thin, whatever’s your passion, although I think that soft ripe tomatoes taste better when thickly sliced and firmer ones when sliced thinner. Shingle the tomatoes on a serving platter and sprinkle evenly with fine salt. Let them sit until moisture beads up on the surface. 
  2. Meanwhile, halve the cherry tomatoes and put them in a small bowl. Add the 1⁄8 teaspoon salt, pep- per to taste, the optional sugar (if the tomatoes aren’t naturally sweet), the lemon juice, olive oil, and a few torn basil leaves. Mix everything together and let sit on the counter to soften and get saucy, at least 15 minutes. An hour or more would be ideal. 
  3. When ready to serve, rub the beefsteak tomatoes to disperse the salt, then spoon the cherry tomatoes and all of their juices over them. Garnish with a few more judiciously placed torn bits of basil, the pistachios, and a fresh swig of olive oil.

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