Recipe of the week: Heirloom Tomato Salad with Wasabi Mascarpone
There’s no better person to write the forward to Darina Allen’s new book than Alice Waters.
Allen is to Ireland’s locavore movement what Waters is to America’s. For 30 years, Allen has run a cooking school on an organic farm and, inspired by a trip to the Bay Area, she started the modern farmers market movement there.
Her new book, “30 Years at Ballymaloe” (Kyle Books, $35), highlights some of the best farm-to-plate dishes from the cookery school, like this heirloom tomato salad, which is an excellent way to show off the multi-colored gems that are now stealing the show at farmstands and farmers markets in Austin.
Heirloom Tomato Salad with Wasabi Mascarpone
We’ve been growing heirloom tomatoes ever since I first tasted them in San Francisco in 1999. I arrived home with packets of heirloom seeds and our gardener, Susan Turner, also sourced a great selection from the Heritage Seed Library in London. One year we grew over 50 varieties: The flavor, texture, and appearance are completely different; some are tiny, others huge, but all are delicious. This salad is inspired by one eaten at Yotam Ottolenghi’s NOPI restaurant.
— Darina Allen
For the Wasabi Mascarpone Dressing:
1/2 cup mascarpone
2 to 3 Tbsp. milk
2 to 3 tsp. wasabi paste (can substitute horseradish)
1 Tbsp. pine nuts, lightly roasted
1 tsp. finely chopped tarragon
2 tsp. finely sliced scallions
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the salad:
18 oz. heirloom tomatoes, such as Tibet Apple, Oxheart, Cherokee Purple, Black Prince, Yellow Brandywine, German Pink and Big Red
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. Chardonnay vinegar
Pinch of sugar (optional)
Handful of micro greens and purple basil leaves
Crusty bread, for serving
First, make the dressing. Loosen the mascarpone with 2 to 3 Tbsp. milk. Stir in the wasabi, pine nuts, chopped tarragon and scallions. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and set aside to mature for 15–30 minutes.
Slice the heirloom tomatoes in half or into quarters, depending on size, and put them in a bowl. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Whisk the oil and vinegar together and drizzle over the tomatoes. Taste, adding a pinch of sugar, if necessary.
Put a generous tablespoon of wasabi mascarpone in the center of a plate or in a small bowl. Pile the heirloom tomatoes onto the plate and scatter the micro greens and basil leaves over the top. Serve immediately with lots of crusty bread. Serves 4.
— From “30 Years at Ballymaloe” by Darina Allen (Kyle Books, $35)