Tomatoes with Herbs and Almond Vinaigrette

by Hilary Gauntt on July 28, 2017

After many delays, Dan Kluger is opening his highly anticipated “Loring Place” restaurant in Greenwich Village next month. He has worked for a “who’s who” list of restaurateurs in New York City, and he chose the restaurant name for the area in New York where his father grew up playing stick ball on the cobblestone streets.

Dan is known for simple, seasonal dishes and this one of his recipes is a good example. The methods I learned here were to salt the tomatoes and let them sit for 5 minutes; this draws out liquid and intensifies the flavor. And to soak raw sliced onions in ice water for 10 minutes to lessen their bite. Very helpful Dan!

1/2 cup almonds, coarsely chopped and sifted (gets rid of “dust” which tends to burn)

1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, finely grated

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2 Tbs. fresh lime juice

1 tsp. sugar

Kosher salt and pepper

2 lbs. mixed heirloom tomatoes, some sliced, some halved

1/3 cup very thinly sliced red onion, soaked in ice water for 10 minutes

1/2 small jalapeno, minced

1/4 cup torn mint leaves

1/4 cup torn Thai basil leaves

In a medium skillet, cook the almonds in the oil over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until well browned, about 7 minutes. Strain the oil through a fine sieve into a heatproof bowl; reserve the almonds for the salad. Immediately whisk the garlic into the warm oil and let cool slightly, then whisk in the vinegar, lime juice and sugar. Season the dressing with salt and pepper.

Spread the tomatoes on a large baking sheet. Season with salt and let stand for 5 minutes.

Drain the onions; pat dry. Scatter half the almonds on a platter and top them with the tomatoes. Drizzle with the dressing and top with the onion, jalepeno, mint, basil, and the remaining almonds. Serves 4.

Note: Well, I over-browned my almonds and had to toss them out along with the oil! Got out my tub of mixed nuts from Costco and chopped up a half cup of those instead. Next time I might skip straight to that solution.

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