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Heirloom Tomato Salad with Cacao and Agave Dressing

by , featured in Ciudad De Mexico
Published by Hardie Grant
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Introduction

I originally created this salad dressing for fresh tomatillos, but it is also delicious with tomatoes, especially in the summer when ripe multi-coloured heirloom tomatoes appear in the markets. The dressing is a simple mixture of balsamic vinegar, agave syrup and cacao nibs. If you leave it to infuse for a few days, the cacao nibs release their complex flavour, like a vintage liqueur.

I originally created this salad dressing for fresh tomatillos, but it is also delicious with tomatoes, especially in the summer when ripe multi-coloured heirloom tomatoes appear in the markets. The dressing is a simple mixture of balsamic vinegar, agave syrup and cacao nibs. If you leave it to infuse for a few days, the cacao nibs release their complex flavour, like a vintage liqueur.

Image of Edson Diaz-Fuentes' Heirloom Tomato Salad
Photo by Robert Billington

Ingredients

Serves: 4

Metric Cups
  • ½ small fennel bulb
  • 500 grams heirloom tomatoes (choose assorted shapes and colours)
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chilli flakes
  • extra virgin olive oil (for drizzling)
  • salt
  • fresh coriander leaves (to garnish)

FOR THE DRESSING

  • 100 millilitres balsamic vinegar
  • 100 millilitres dark agave syrup
  • 6 tablespoons cacao nibs
  • ½ small fennel bulb
  • 1 pound 2 ounces heirloom tomatoes (choose assorted shapes and colours)
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chile flakes
  • extra virgin olive oil (for drizzling)
  • salt
  • cilantro leaves (to garnish)

FOR THE DRESSING

  • scant ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • scant ½ cup dark agave syrup
  • 6 tablespoons cacao nibs

Method

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Cacao and Agave Dressing is a guest recipe by Edson Diaz-Fuentes so we are not able to answer questions regarding this recipe

  1. Prepare the dressing at least a day in advance. Mix together the balsamic vinegar, agave syrup and cacao nibs in a jar and leave at room temperature to infuse.
  2. To make the salad, remove the fennel’s coarse outer leaves, then halve the bulb and remove the core. Thinly slice the fennel bulb, then leave to soak in cold water for 30 minutes. The cold water will make the fennel even more crunchy.
  3. Cut the tomatoes into wedges and quarter the smaller ones. Sprinkle with salt and leave aside. The salt will draw the juices from the tomatoes, releasing their sweet flavour, while the slight acidity from the juices will complement the dressing.
  4. To assemble the salad, place the tomatoes and their juices in a serving bowl. Add the sliced fennel and about 3 tablespoons of the dressing. Gently toss, then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with the ancho chilli flakes and coriander leaves. Serve at once.
  1. Prepare the dressing at least a day in advance. Mix together the balsamic vinegar, agave syrup and cacao nibs in a jar and leave at room temperature to infuse.
  2. To make the salad, remove the fennel’s coarse outer leaves, then halve the bulb and remove the core. Thinly slice the fennel bulb, then leave to soak in cold water for 30 minutes. The cold water will make the fennel even more crunchy.
  3. Cut the tomatoes into wedges and quarter the smaller ones. Sprinkle with salt and leave aside. The salt will draw the juices from the tomatoes, releasing their sweet flavour, while the slight acidity from the juices will complement the dressing.
  4. To assemble the salad, place the tomatoes and their juices in a serving bowl. Add the sliced fennel and about 3 tablespoons of the dressing. Gently toss, then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with the ancho chile flakes and coriander leaves. Serve at once.

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