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2 to 4 as an appetizer
2 large ripe tomatoes (I used heirlooms, one Brandywine and one Mr. Stripey)
1 large handful of basil leaves (I like using the tips as they go to seed, they overpower pesto but are awesome in this dish for their assertiveness)
4 tsp toasted pine nuts
4 Tbsp butter
Fleur de sel or another crunchy salt
Wash and dry your tomatoes. I like to then give them a slight chill but putting them in the fridge for a half hour.
Place the tomatoes on a cutting board stem side down. Using a sharp knife (you can also use a serrated knife but the edge won't be quite as clean), cut 1/2-inch thick slices top to bottom. (You can always cut them the regular way if you prefer, but I find these more difficult to core and not as elegant).
Remove any bits of core from your slices and then arrange them on a chilled plate around the fresh basil and and place a few pine nuts on each slice.
Brown the butter (place it in a glass bowl with a plate on top and microwave for 2 minutes, check, then continue cooking in 30 second intervals until it's nutty smelling and browned, you can do this on the stovetop too but I find the microwave easier and cooler in the summer).
Sprinkle the tomatoes with salt and serve with Shabazi and the brown butter. You can serve these either on the side (as pictured) or on top, up to you and the tastes of those you're eating with.
You may not get a lot of juice to sop up since you're using a sharp knife and salting immediately before serving, but this dish is still great with warm focaccia.
Food images and recipe © Christian Leue. Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org