Last Tomatoes of the Season Salad

From NGI's A Plating Palate series

Photography by Alexandra Shytsman

Tomato season is coming to an end here in the Northeast. If you cannot get your hands on the very last batch, substitute with roasted rainbow carrots or mini purple and yellow potatoes.

Here, I used local heirloom cherry tomatoes along with juiced kale (any extra greens or fronds you have on hand will do), fennel blossoms, basil leaves, black sesame seeds and flaky sea salt. This first plating style can be applied to many dishes. It is a composed dish that allows like ingredients to be showcased in a simple, elegant fashion. To achieve the look, use a shallow dish with raised edges. 

Make sure not to climb the edges too much, since white space makes the food shine. Scatter garnishes of varied textures and colors on the main attraction to add extra depth. For a plate that is easy to share or pass as an hors d’oeuvre, try using a paintbrush to drag a green infused oil or juice across a long plate from one end to the other. Showcase tomatoes, or whichever vegetables you’re using, alternately threaded on bamboo skewers with basil, and arrange them in an unmanicured manner on the plate, making sure at least some portion of them touch the sauce. 

Take care to garnish each skewer. The final plating works best on large circular white plates. Drizzle the sauce around the perimeter and start arranging the tomatoes on one side, to form a sort of half wreath. Fill in the blank spaces with the garnishes, starting with the larger basil leaves, and laying the fennel blossoms and sesame seeds on top to create height. Finish with flaky sea salt, and serve with an optional side of bread.



Tomato Salad


  • 1 pint rainbow cherry tomatoes, halved crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup basil leaves
  • ¼ cup fennel blossoms
  • ¼ teaspoon flaky sea salt
  • 1 cup leafy greens (kale, chard and/or romaine), cold-pressed into juice

This post was originally published by the Natural Gourmet Institute. Learn more about today's Natural Gourmet Center.

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