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Categories: Salads, Vegetarian

Tomato salad with pickled shallots and goat cheese croutons

Tomato salad with pickled shallots and goat cheese croutons
Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times

Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, Radiator Charlie's Mortgage Lifter -- these are names that make a tomato lover's heart race. They conjure up images of backyard plants grown from hard-sought seeds, of rare fruit bursting in summer's heat. Names that make farmers ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes | Serves 4 to 6
Note: This looks best with tomatoes of different colors.
  • 2 shallots, sliced moderately thin
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 pound fresh goat cheese
  • 3 tablespoons minced chives (about 1 bunch)
  • 1 baguette (about 3/4 pound)
  • 1 1/4 pounds tomatoes, sliced into 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick rounds
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Step 1Combine the shallots and the vinegar in a small bowl and set aside at least 1 hour. Combine the garlic and one-fourth cup of the oil in another small bowl and set aside at least 30 minutes. In a small bowl beat together the goat cheese and chives.

Step 2Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the baguette at a sharp angle to create 8 long, three-fourths-inch thick spears of bread. Strain the garlic from the olive oil and brush the bread on both sides with the oil. Discard the garlic or save for another use. Place bread on a baking sheet and bake until golden, 25 to 30 minutes.

Step 3Put the tomatoes in a wide bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Strain the vinegar from the shallots into a small bowl and then beat in the remaining one-fourth cup of oil. Pour this over the tomatoes and toss gently to coat the slices without breaking them.

Step 4Rap each toasted baguette slice rather sharply in about the middle with the back of a chef's knife to break it into a couple of large, rough pieces. Spread each piece with the goat cheese mixture.

Step 5Arrange the dressed tomatoes in a wide serving bowl or on plates, being careful to mix colors and sizes. Carefully separate the shallot slices into individual rings and scatter them over top. Arrange the bread spears around the outside and serve.

Each of 6 servings:
388 calories; 9 grams protein; 35 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 24 grams fat; 6 grams saturated fat; 9 grams cholesterol; 424 grams sodium.
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