For those of you who read this blog or Everything Coastal you probably already know my mom. You’ve probably read all about her adventures in San Francisco. In fact, you’ve probably even seen a few pictures of me show up on the Everything Costal blog…like here or here. But, we haven’t formally met.
|Hanging out at the beach in California last summer|
|See?! Are you drooling already? I am!|
Then, last summer, I was introduced to my new go to side dish, vanilla sea salt tomatoes. One of my mom's visit to Seattle a few summers ago, we decided to try out this fantastic spot.
If you live within a few hours of Seattle and haven’t been, GO! Seriously, get in your car as soon as you finish reading this post….And pick me up on the way! If you love oysters, champagne, artisan cheeses, or really great chandeliers you MUST go. The long wait will be well worth your time.
For weeks after we ate at The Walrus & Carpenter, I couldn’t stop telling people about the vanilla salted tomatoes. I started to obsess over how I could recreate them at home. Several failed attempts with a variety of salts, vanilla extract, vanilla bean pods, and olive oil followed. Then, purely by coincidence, I happened across the magic ingredient in one my favorite grocery stores, Paris Grocery. Vanilla sea salt!! Who knew such a thing existed?! More playing in the kitchen ensued, and my own version of the dish I can’t stop talking about was born. With summer and heirloom tomato season approaching, I can’t wait to make this over and over to share at dinner parties and barbecues.
|Nothing says SUMMER like a big bite of this dish|
Vanilla Sea Salt tomatoes
You will need:
2 large heirloom tomatoes (I like to pick very bright green or yellow ones for some visual interest)
1 ½- 2 tablespooons Vanilla Sea Salt
3 ½ tablespoons extra virgin, cold pressed olive oil
Slice tomatoes into semi-thick slices, about a ¼ inch thick. Too thick is better than too thin! Lay out tomato slices in a single layer in a shallow baking dish. Personally, I love Pyrex dishes and use them for everything. Don’t worry, you won’t serve in this dish so feel free to use whatever will let tomatoes sit but will not let juices run off (a flat plat with no rim or lip won’t work). Sprinkle salt all over tomatoes and then pour oil over top. Gently shift tomatoes around to ensure that all are relatively evenly coated. Cover dish and refrigerate for 2 hours. Refrigeration step can be skipped in a pinch, but letting them rest in fridge for a bit helps flavors develop more fully.
When you are ready to serve, take out of refrigerator and lay out on a pretty plate. If you have refrigerated too long, oil may have hardened. Just let the dish sit out at room temperature to warm up and then serve. Drizzle any oil mixture left behind in the baking dish over top carefully and be prepared to amaze your friends!
Makes 4 generous appetizer-sized portions