How are those tomato plants in your garden? Ready to harvest yet?
Don’t fret. There are these things called greenhouses, and the “hydro” something way of growing, and those states far, far to the south of New York. From those sources, via trucks burning carbon, you can have summer-prime tomatoes on your table. This weekend. Tonight.
[Ignore the carbon guilt. They have already been picked and shipped. It would be a crime to waste them.]
This salad can be a serious starting course. It can be the main course. Our tomatoes here were nearly as big as pork chops. We did not cut them quite that thick, but these were truly meaty giants that gave chewy satisfaction with the firmness of their resistance to each bite.
The combination of tomato, blue cheese and bacon is one that is common. I never tire of it, though, perhaps because I limit myself to just one or two dabbles each month. But then last night when I had this, I wondered why I don’t eat it every single day.
You can enhance flavor, and add that variety to prevent any boredom, by using one of the many gourmet salts available. A deep smoky salt, for example, is going to resonate with that blue cheese. A heavy hand with pepper will intensify the flavors and promote additional tingle your tongue.
Temperature is important here, too. The bacon crumbles should be room temperature so the flavor is not subdued, but everything else should be refrigerator cold. There is a surprise awaiting you as the cold from the tomatoes and dressing competes with the inherent “cheese heat” that blue provides.
Do look for firm, meaty tomatoes. They are out there, ready, waiting, and simply delectable.
In the picture, the biscuit is chili and cheese. Recipe to come soon!
Heirloom Tomato Stacks with Blue Cheese Dressing and Bacon Crumbles
Yield: serves 4
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon fruity extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ⅓-½ cup crumbled Clemson Blue cheese
- 1 tablespoon thinly sliced chives or scallion greens
- 1 bunch arugula or watercress, rinsed and spun dry
- 5-6 large heirloom tomatoes, such as Cherokee Purple, Delicious, Striped German, Brandywine(2 ½ pounds), cored and cut crosswise into ½-inch thick slices
- 4 thick bacon slices, cooked until crisp and crumbled
- Salt and fresh black pepper to taste
Mix the sour cream, mayonnaise, olive oil, vinegar, pepper, salt, and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl with a whisk or fork.
Stir in blue cheese and chives or scallions.
Divide the arugula or watercress between 4 plates. Stack the tomatoes slices on the greens, leaning a little, and sprinkle lightly with a little more salt and pepper. Spoon the dressing on top and crumble the bacon over the tomatoes. Serve.
Source: Tomatoes by Miriam Rubin
Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/4.5 for 1/40th second at ISO-640
Blue cheese dip is just automatically required for hot chicken wings. Absolutely.
However, many versions of this dip compete with the wings. The blue cheese flavor is so intense that it can distract from the wings. This version is less intense — depending of course on the exact blue cheese you choose. For most blues, though, the balance of the amount of cheese with the mayo and sour cream is going to give you a different flavor experience. Subtle, smooth, and complementary to those wings.
Of course, you are free to add in some cilantro or parsley. The blue cheese can be swapped out for Gorgonzola or other options. Do make this dip the day before to get the full power of “one-day” aging!
Blue Cheese Dip
Yield: 3 cups
- 1 ½ cup blue cheese crumbles
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
Combine the blue cheese crumbles, mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic, Dijon mustard, pepper and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Blend for 30+ second to create a smooth creamy mixture.
Cover and refrigerate. This dip is best made a day in advanced to let the flavors thoroughly blend.