This week’s POM Summer Series recipe is all about SALADS!!! I LOVE summertime because at all of the Farmer’s Markets that you can get amazing fresh and flavorful produce. Tomatoes of all types are one of my favorite things to snack on all summer long especially when they are straight from farm to table.
My favorite tomato by far are big, colorful and funky looking Organic Heirloom tomatoes! They have such a great tomato flavor, super thick/meaty and incredibly versatile.
I figured why make just one SALAD with these beauties when you can make TWO!
TIP FOR ORGANICS:
I honestly believe in using organic foods whenever possible as they have so much FLAVOR and are 100% better for you. However, I know this isn’t realistic for everyone so the main thing to remember when picking organic is this:
If the fruit or vegetable has a skin you EAT, then, pick organic! Isn’t that easier than trying to remember the Dirty Dozen and which to pick/not pick.
BRUSCHETTA WITH A POM BALSAMIC REDUCTION
1/2 cup Good Quality Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 cup POMWonderful Pomegranate Juice
1 Bay Leaf
3 Whole Peppercorns
1 Fresh Thyme Sprig or a few dashes of dried thyme
Combine all the above ingredients in a small stainless steel sauce pan over low heat. Simmer reducing the mixture until it is about 1/3 cup. Remove from heat, strain and place in the fridge to cool. The sauce will thicken as it cools.
TOASTED BAGUETTE BITES
1 Baguette, slice thin into 1/4 inch slices
1 Tbsp Good Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil for drizzling
Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place your baguette slices on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with Olive Oil and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Bake until slightly golden and crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool
2 lbs Heirloom tomatoes, diced into ~ 1/4 inch cubes
Handful basil, ~ 6-7 leaves. sliced into ribbons
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 Tbsp POMWonderful Pomegranate Juice
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 lemon, zested
Combine the above ingredients and chill in the fridge until ready to use.
Place your crunchy bruschetta slices and place them on a plate. Top them with a heaping tablespoon of your Tomato Bruschetta. Drizzle a small amount of your Pomegranate balsamic reduction syrup Sprinkle with a good quality rock sea salt. Enjoy!
**MIX IT UP: You can add a layer of fresh mozzarella in between the Bread and the Bruschetta or sprinkle some freshly shaved parmesan on top.
Start out by preparing your simple POM Balsamic Reduction.
Combine your POM Juice & Balsamic Vinegar and pour into a small sauce pan over medium low heat.
Add your aromatics ~ Bay leaf, peppercorns and Thyme (I used Lemon Thyme from our garden).
Simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the POM/Balsamic mixture reduces to 1/3 of a cup. Strain and cool in the fridge. It will thicken more as it cools.
While your reduction is “cooking”, take your crusty baguette and thinly slice into 1/4 inch or less pieces. You want to be sure that you slice it really thin otherwise when toasted it will be too hard to bite into and give you Captain Crunch mouth
Drizzle your baguette slices with olive oil, sea salt & freshly ground black pepper. Bake at 375 for about 10 minutes until slightly browned and crunchy.
This is one reason I LOVE Heirlooms – Check out all their fun colors – the inside is the BEST part!
Chop your tomatoes into 1/4 inch cubes.
Top with basil and garlic.
Add your olive oil, balsamic and pomegranate juice.
Plus the zest of one lemon. Stir to combine and chill until ready to use.
Assemble by topping each slice with a heaping tablespoon of bruschetta, sea salt & a little drizzle of of your Pomegranate Balsamic Reduction.
Dig in and ENJOY! You don’t have to share if you don’t want to
I have to admit as much as I LOVE Bruschetta, the first thing that comes to mind when I see BIG, JUICY, HEIRLOOM TOMATOES is CAPRESE SALAD.
It might be the tomatoes or it might just be FRESH MOZZARELLA!!!!
CHEESE makes the world a better place! I LOVE CHEESE!
Caprese salad is really simple to make. All you have to do is slice your mozzarella, tomatoes and basil.
Place them on a bed of organic mixed greens and top with a little rock sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
When ready to serve, drizzle with the Pomegranate Balsamic Reduction that you made above.
Or serve it on the side and let everyone add their own drizzle.
This salad is awesome as a meal, as a side and definitely when served up with Bruschetta!
Be sure to visit the kitchens of the other POM Series Chefs to find out what else is on the menu for week 2 of the Summer of POM:
Check back next Monday for MY ENTREE RECIPE made up with POM!!!