Heirloom Tomatoes

Photo: Dennis Gottlieb/Picturearts

Two of summer’s sweetest pleasures arrive as it’s ending: an ocean warm enough to swim in, and exquisitely ripe heirloom tomatoes. Frank Falcinelli, co-owner of Frankies 457 Court Street Spuntino, has been mainlining them for lunch in a salad so simple it barely requires a recipe. The combination of ingredients is unexpected and their quality paramount: The avocado must be lush and ripe; the sea salt coarse-grained and minimally processed; the olive oil extra-virgin and preferably Sicilian (Falcinelli uses Frankies’ own house label). The basic premise is to add salinity to the acidity of the tomatoes, or, as Falcinelli puts it, “to make gazpacho in my mouth.”

Frank Falcinelli’s Heirloom-Tomato-and-Avocado Salad
1 perfectly ripe medium or 1/2 a large heirloom tomato
1/2 avocado
1/4 red onion
coarse Celtic sea salt (available at Lifethyme Natural Market)
2 to 3 ounces extra-virgin olive oil

Illustration by John Burgoyne

(1) Wash, core, and slice tomato in thin wedges. Seed the avocado, and with
(2) a teaspoon turn out little scoops on top of tomatoes. Slice onion against the grain and add to salad. Sprinkle with salt and
(3) drizzle with oil. Falcinelli recommends shaving Montasio cheese over the salad for variety, and having enough crusty bread on hand to sop up the delicious dregs. Serves one.

Heirloom Tomatoes