If I were a better gardener and lived a little farther (further?) south I MIGHT have grown these heirloom tomatoes myself.
But I’m not and I don’t and I didn’t.
So, instead, what we have here are heirlooms I found at a standard grocery store and Costco. But let’s not turn up our noses shall we? Look how gorgeous.
The whole time I was taking these photographs I was pondering what to do with the heirloom tomatoes. We needed a side dish to go with our roasted chicken dinner. Tomato, cucumber and avocado salads are always a big hit around our house so I thought that might be nice.
But these tomatoes seemed to cry out for something a little different.
After all, they are special…and beautiful and, well, heirloomy.
Then I remembered I was in possession of another, rather unique, ingredient.
What are Garlic Scapes?
You may be asking. Maybe you’ve tossed and turned at night wondering about garlic scapes.
Well, garlic scapes are the “flower stalks” of garlic plants. They start to appear a month or so after the first leaves, do not produce flowers and are usually cut from the plant and thrown away. Leaving them on would divert the plant’s strength from forming the bulb and we DON’T want that. (Have I mentioned how much I love garlic?) The scapes are actually very delicious with a milder flavor than the garlic bulbs.
I would love to tell you I discovered garlic scapes in my own garden whilst growing garlic. But in reality I only know about garlic scapes because of Pinterest. Gotta love Pinterest! (BTW, do you follow me on Pinterest??) I saw some photos of garlic scapes and references to garlic scape pesto. Yum! Garlic scape pesto sounds delicious and that may be a future recipe post. But my oldest son is allergic to nuts so I decided to simply incorporate the garlic scapes into a dressing for the heirloom tomatoes.
Chunky salads that do not contain lettuce or other leafy greens are a nice change of pace, in my humble opinion. But I had some kale on hand and decided it would make a nice complement to the garlic scapes in the dressing itself.
The resulting Garlic Scape and Kale Dressing does have the thick texture of a pesto but without the nuts and cheese.
Here is the resulting Heirloom Tomato Salad with Garlic Scape and Kale Dressing.
|Heirloom Tomato Salad with Garlic Scape and Kale Dressing||
- Heirloom (or standard) tomatoes – approximately 1.5 – 2 pounds, sliced into chunks
- 1/2-1 English (burpless) cucumber, sliced
- 4 garlic scapes
- 2 large leaves of kale, tough spine removed and roughly chopped
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Place the prepared tomatoes and cucumber in a large serving dish and set aside.
- Cut the garlic scapes into a few large pieces and add them to a food processor along with the kale and pulse, then puree for a few minutes.
- Add the oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and continue to puree for a minute or two, scraping down the sides a couple of times to make sure everything is evenly pureed.
- Add more salt and pepper to taste.
- Toss with tomatoes and cucumbers right before serving. (You may have some left-over dressing depending on how big your salad is and how much dressing you want on it.)
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