Basil & Goat Cheese Salad

Fresh basil and goat cheese salad with heirloom tomatoes

Fresh basil and goat cheese salad with heirloom tomatoes

Heirloom tomatoes and basil pretty much scream “summer is here!”  My girlfriend Saketini calls this easy salad packed with bold bright flavors a “rock star hostess” dish.  It is sturdy enough to travel well, delicious at room temperature, and super easy to assemble.  Plus, let’s face it:  it looks freaking gorgeous.  Last weekend I brought this salad to a casual pizza dinner at Lemon Drop & IPA’s house.  We all ended up dragging our pizza crusts through the juicy cheesy goodness on our plates to sop up every last bit.

Basil & Goat Cheese Salad (about 6 servings)

4 medium heirloom tomatoes, cored and sliced into wedges (about 2 cups)

2 Tbs. very good olive oil

2 tsp. pomegranate balsamic vinegar

Kosher salt & very coarsely ground (or cracked) black pepper to taste

1 large bunch whole fresh basil leaves (about 2 cups loosely packed or 4 oz.)

5 oz. log goat cheese, crumbled into big chunks

Mix together tomatoes, oil, vinegar, salt & pepper in a non-reactive bowl; let sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes or up to 1 hour to meld flavors.  Rinse and pat dry the basil leaves, and spread in an even layer on a serving platter or salad bowl.  Just before serving, crumble goat cheese over the basil and top with the tomatoes and all of the juicy goodness.

If you are traveling with this salad, place the tomato mixture and goat geese in separate containers and add to basil just before serving.


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