Tomatoes are at their peak in the market, and I’ve always been a fan of heirloom tomatoes – with the many varieties creating a different eating experience each time.

But when I think of tomatoes, my mind goes right away to a Bloody Mary. I don’t know what that says about me, but I do enjoy the occasional Bloody Mary for Sunday brunch. So that’s when I decided to make a tomato salad inspired by the classic cocktail.

This recipe has some of the fundamental ingredients for a Bloody Mary, but without, of course, the vodka (although if you want to add a dash to the dressing, go right ahead). This salad is perfect for summer and the warm days because it’s light and spicy. It really shines when you find yourself some good heirloom tomatoes, which have such depth and meatiness than normal hot-house tomatoes.

I got mine from the farmers market, finding some incredible heirloom tomatoes from Happy Boy Farms. The variety is known as “Cherokee Chocolate” and it really made me a happy camper when I dressed it with my Bloody Mary dressing. So get yourself some heirloom tomatoes and have yourself a happy hour salad for dinner. Enjoy!

The finished dish

Bloody Mary Heirloom Tomato Salad Recipe
Makes two servings

2 to 3 heirloom tomatoes, sliced
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced like toothpicks
1 to 2 T sliced green olives
sprinkling of sea salt

3 T tomato juice
2 t Worcestershire sauce
1 T Dijon mustard
1 T prepared horseradish
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
juice from half a lemon
dashes of hot sauce (per your taste)

In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the salad dressing, adjusting flavors to your taste. Set aside.

Slice your heirloom tomatoes and then layer on plate. Then drizzle dressing on top. Sprinkle sea salt over the tomatoes, then garnish with celery sticks and green olives. Serve with slices of tomato bread. (Tomato bread is a Spanish tradition of rubbing a cut tomato over toast.)

TIP: I like when my celery curls a bit, just to make the dish look even more interesting. If you slice your celery really thin, it’ll curl a bit when placed in an ice bath.

For my salad I used these Happy Boy Farms heirloom tomatoes called “Cherokee Chocolate”

Sliced green olives for garnish

Keeping to the Bloody Mary theme, some thinly sliced celery in an ice bath

Tomato bread is made by rubbing a cut tomato on toast. I used whole wheat, which looked a bit like meatloaf after rubbing tomato on it. You might want to use something lighter.

There are so many tomatoes of many varieties at the farmers market; see what they’ll inspire you to make

6 Responses to Heirloom Tomato Salad Inspired by a Classic Cocktail

  1. Carolyn Jung says:

    Tomato bread is one of my fave things in the world. It’s amazing how something so simple could taste so good, and with such a powerhouse of flavor. Your tomato photos are gorgeous, too.

  2. hungry dog says:

    I’m not much for bloody marys but I love the look of this salad! What a great idea. Heirloom tomatoes are everywhere now, including on my counter, waiting to be used!

    The tomato bread reminds me of the “pan con tomate” in Spain. Ahh!

  3. Row says:

    Mmm, tomato bread. Very nice! 🙂

  4. Steve says:

    That looks great, I’m going to try that out. I’ve been playing around with tomatoe, watermelon, basil, olive oil salad, which tastes pretty good, and easy. Love your blog, you really do an excellent job Ben.

  5. Hollis says:

    I am completely obsessed with bloody marys! I have got to try this very soon. Thanks for sharing!