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Sungold Tomato and Herb Salad

Salad, Recipes

As heirloom varieties become more available, uses for tomatoes have exceeded the saucepot and the salsa jar. Chef Ben Bebenroth picks cherry tomatoes for bright salads as soon as their color deepens, mixing in fresh herbs for color and taste. With neon-orange, super-sweet Sungolds, he’ll toss minced red onion, fresh basil and mint, and a few sprigs of lavender, all dressed with fruit or herb vinegar. “We’re looking at the subtleties of accenting a Sungold, because they’re so delicate and so sweet on their own,” he says, adding that they can’t stand up to aged balsamic or honey. “It needs that floral note.”

Sungold Tomato and Herb Salad 
| Makes 4 servings 
Recipe courtesy of Spice Kitchen + Bar

1 quart Sungold cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup red onion, minced
12 basil leaves
6 mint leaves
6 lavender leaves
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons fruit vinegar
6 to 10 grinds black pepper
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 chili pepper (Thai bird or serrano), thinly sliced (include seeds for heat)
1 tablespoon honey

Cut tomatoes in half. Tear and bruise herbs. Combine all ingredients and let sit at room temperature for 2 to 6 hours to allow flavors to marry. Do not refrigerate. Serve at room temperature.