We tend to think of tomatoes as a vegetable rather than the fruit it technically is. This salad, adapted from Martha Holmberg’s “Simply Tomato,” is a dazzling reminder. The tomatoes, chile, herbs, pistachios, and tangy dressing boost the complexity while toning down the sweetness that’s typical of many fruit salads. Pomegranate molasses is a popular Middle Eastern condiment that’s pulls these flavors together beautifully, but if you have trouble finding it you can boil down pomegranate juice to make your own, or substitute bottled balsamic glaze.A smear of whipped ricotta makes a creamy canvasfor this artful, vitamin-packed tribute to summer. Serves 4. RECIPE HERE – Susan Puckett
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar or sherry vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh jalapeno or serrano chile
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- Pinch of Aleppo pepper or chile flakes
- 1 pound fresh tomatoes, cored and cut into chunks, or halved cherry tomatoes
- ½ pound plums, pitted and cut into wedges (or peaches)
- ½ pint blueberries
- ½, cup roughly chopped fresh herbs (cilantro, basil, mint, or a combination)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup whipped ricotta (optional, directions follow)
- ½ cup chopped lightly toasted pistachios (optional)
- Make the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together the pomegranate molasses, vinegar, sugar, chile, salt, and Aleppo pepper or chile flakes. Let the dressing sit for 10 minutes, tasting and adjusting the seasoning as desired.
- Make the salad: In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, plums, and blueberries. Pour on the dressing, toss gently, let the juices mingle a few minutes, then taste and adjust seasoning.Fold in the herbs, drizzle with olive oil, and toss again.
- If desired, smear about ¼ cup of the whipped ricotta on the bottom of each serving plate. Top with the fruit salad, sprinkle with pistachios, if using, and serve immediately.
Note: To make whipped ricotta, place 1 cup whole-milk ricotta in a food processor and pulse a few times to break it up. Add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and ½ teaspoon kosher salt and blend until creamy and smooth.Susan Puckett is a cookbook author and former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow her at susanpuckett.com.