The City Magazine Since 1975

Summer Tomato Salad

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6 oz. slab bacon, sliced thick into one- inch dice
5 tomatoes, preferably heirloom varieties
1 Kirby cucumber
1/2 small Vidalia onion
3 Tbs. red wine vinegar, such as grenache
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
8 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup cooked butter beans or field peas, such as zipper, crowder, or pink eye
2 or 3 small bunches of greens, such as arugula, mizuna, watercress, and frisée, washed and patted dry Herb dressing (recipe follows)

For the herb dressing:
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tsp. lemon zest
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1 Tbs. sliced chives
1 Tbs. chopped parsley
1 Tbs. chopped fresh dill
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper


Place bacon in a cast-iron skillet large enough to hold it in one layer. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the fat is released and the pieces of bacon are almost, but not quite, crispy. Remove to a paper towel and discard fat.

Core tomatoes and cut into 1/2-inch slices. Cut cucumber in half lengthwise and scoop the seeds out with a small spoon. Cut into 1/8-inch slices. Cut onion in half. Cut one half into matchstick-long 1/8-inch slices.

Whisk vinegar and Dijon mustard together in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Toss tomato slices with about three or four tablespoons of the vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper. Combine butter beans, cucumber, and cut onion in another bowl. Toss with about four tablespoons of vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper.

Place tomatoes on a serving platter. Spoon butter beans, cucumber, and onion over the tomatoes. Toss greens with as much of the remaining vinaigrette as you desire and scatter around the platter. Garnish with pieces of bacon. Drizzle herb dressing over everything, to taste.

For the herb dressing:
Crush garlic into a paste using a mortar and pestle or the back of a knife on a cutting board. Place garlic in a small bowl and stir in mayonnaise. Whisk in buttermilk until smooth. Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for up to two days.