Family Heirloom

A fresh twist on tomato salad
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Juicy and deliciously misshapen, late-summer's heirloom tomatoes are currently flooding the markets, and our kitchens are bursting with BLTs and fresh tomato sauce. William Kovel, the chef-owner of Cambridge, Massachusetts's soon-to-open Catalyst, lets the unmatched flavor of the fruit shine, dressing the tomatoes with a vibrant vinaigrette made with fresh coriander berries. The green buds, which taste like a blend of fresh cilantro and dried coriander, are ground with garlic, Champagne vinegar and olive oil before being gently tossed with the diced tomatoes. Kovel's simple dish is a full-flavored taste of late summer.

Heirloom-Tomato Salad with Mizuna and Coriander Vinaigrette

Recipe adapted from William Kovel, Catalyst, Cambridge, MA

Yield: 6 servings

Cook Time: 10 minutes


1 tablespoon fresh coriander berries (purchase in season at the farmers' market or substitute dried coriander seeds)

2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

6 large heirloom tomatoes, cored and diced

1 tablespoon chives, finely chopped

1 medium shallot, finely chopped

1 cup mizuna leaves (if mizuna isn't available, substitute arugula)


1. With a mortar and pestle, grind together the fresh or dried coriander, garlic, Champagne vinegar and salt until a fine paste forms. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. (Alternately, grind the dried coriander in a spice mill, then combine with the garlic, vinegar, salt and oil using a small food processor.)

2. In a medium bowl, toss the tomatoes with the coriander vinaigrette. Stir in the chives and shallot.

3. Divide the tomatoes among six plates; reserve the tomato liquid from the bowl. Gently toss the mizuna with the reserved liquid and garnish each plate with the dressed mizuna. Serve immediately.

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