A Mid-Summer Salad

All the tomatoes are beautiful right now but I'm eating the heirloom tomatoes almost every day. They've got so much flavor. And there were some lovely ones in our Fresh Market last week, I couldn't resist.

I had Thomas Keller's tomato sorbet in mind when I bought them, (which I ended up making as well and will post soon) but then I remembered a recipe I had seen on Top Chef made by Miami Chef Jeff McInnis. I had copied and saved it. (Jeff is the Chef de Cuisine of The DiLido Beach Club at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach.) He made a Heirloom Tomato Salad, Asparagus and Cucumber Ribbons with a Goat Cheese Sorbet for one of the challenges.

Lest we forget, tomatoes are a fruit. So I thought, hmmmm. Goat cheese sorbet? Well, I do love goat cheese in my salads, so this sounded good to me. And I really wanted to see how McInnis's flavors went together.

The sorbet couldn't be easier to make, although you do need an ice cream maker. I love that it's mainly Greek yogurt with honey as a sweetener. The goat cheese is melted into some cream and then mixed with the yogurt mixture. I stuck my spoon in it before I stuck it in the fridge to chill, it's a bit sweet (even though I cut way back on the honey) and I could barely taste the goat cheese (I thought it would be stronger), but I went ahead and froze it. I taste-tested again right out of the ice cream maker; it's tart, slightly sweet and yes, I could taste both the goat cheese and the yogurt. And it was ever so slightly grainy. I really was surprised I liked it so much with the tomatoes and think it would also be great with some caramelized fresh fruit over it for dessert. But I went ahead and made the salad....there's plenty left to use for an interesting dessert experiment later. (With port-infused figs maybe? Or a scoop of this would be marvelous on an apple tart!)

The heirloom tomato part is easy enough to throw together. McInnis suggests Verjus vinegar for this recipe and I was pleasantly surprised.  Deana from Long Past Remembered did a post on Verjus a while back and I was intrigued and ordered some. (Thank you Deana!). This vinegar does make a difference, but if you don't have any, don't let that stop y0u from making this salad, just use white wine vinegar.

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese Sorbet

Courtesy Jeff McInnis


Tomato Salad:
6 heirloom tomatoes (each a different type)

1/8 ounces micro basil
pinch sea salt
pinch sumac
asparagus and cucumber for garnish

Verjus Vinaigrette:
3 tablespoons Verjus vinegar
8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Goat Cheese Sorbet:
2 cups Greek yogurt (I use Fage)
juice of 2 lemons
1-1/2 cups honey (this seemed like a lot, so I cut this down to 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup cream
4 ounces goat cheese
1 teaspoon salt


For the Tomato Salad:

Slice the tomatoes any way you like. Cut bottom hard area from jumbo asparagus and discard. Using a thin vegetable peeler or electric slicer peel strips of jumbo asparagus like little ribbons and plunge in cold ice water. If you cut the asparagus thin enough it will curl up after sitting in ice water for a short period of time. Slice the cucumber in the same manner.

For the Vinaigrette:
Mix all ingredients well and splash over tomatoes.

For the Sorbet:
Heat cream over medium heat in small sauce pot with goat cheese until melted, whisk. Place in bowl with remaining ingredients and whisk quickly. Refrigerate until cold and then freeze according to your ice cream maker's instructions. Note: the chef suggests using the sorbet the same day. Also in a machine this sorbet can break if over spun. If using a machine, spin until just frozen (still like soft serve ice cream).

For Plating:
Remove asparagus and cucumber from ice water and toss with tomatoes and vinaigrette. While plating these vegetables, season the tomatoes with a generous pinch of sea salt and sumac. Place a scoop of the sorbet on the tomato salad. Garnish with micro herbs.


  1. You have to be the only person I know who is daring enough to attempt a Top chef recipe...those are INTENSE! But also delicious. Goat cheese sorbet sounds dreamy to me.

  2. I would love to hang out in the kitchen with you - this has given me all kinds of ideas....

  3. Ok, I find this totally weird (I must be a traditional person when it comes to food) but very inspiring, and will give it a try. One question, what kind of goat cheese did you use, the fresh and creamy kind?

  4. A delightful salad! Beautiful!



  5. What a beautiful summer salad! I can't wait to try this goat cheese sorbet.

    Your new header looks great!

  6. Beautiful tomatoes! I love that you add that pinch of sumac--I've become totally obsessed with it :)

  7. It all sounds and looks so scrumptious, my mouth's watering just gazing at the pix.
    Bon Dimanche

  8. Oh wow, this sounds fabulous! Goat cheese sorbet....no kidding! Thank you for sharing such beautiful salad. Hope you're having a great day.
    Cheers, Kristy

  9. Lovely post, Barbara. I was just yesterday admiring the gorgeous heirlook tomatoes at the market. And I saw a segment on the travel channel about verjus vinegar. I'm happy to know that you liked it. The tang of the goat cheese sorbet would be perfect here. What a meal!

  10. Ooh yum, my mouth is watering especially with the Sorbet. Sounds really refreshing.

  11. What a gorgeous plate of tomatoes! I will need to try verjus vinegar and the goat cheese sorbet sounds delicious. I love all of the unique flavors and textures - perfect!

  12. You had me with verjus... you know how I love it. I am so spoiled since I used to grow heirlooms. I get sticker shock every time I see that $5 a lb price tag but wow are they great. The sumac is also inspired ( i must find out about this chef, Barbara!) and then the sorbet.. I think I have everything I need to make this sweet and sour beauty.. really great and inspiring recipe... thanks for sharing!

  13. This is no Plain Jane tomato salad! What a beautiful composition, Barbara. I'm not a big fan of goat cheese but made into a sorbet over this salad, or your other suggestions, sounds delightfully intriguing.

  14. I remember that Top Chef episode, Barbara. Wasn't Fabio in that one too?? Maybe.
    This goat cheese sorbet sounds delicious, and I would imagine it is such a wonderful and useful thing to go to the trouble of making in such a hot place like Miami (or any part of Florida for that matter-smile)!

  15. What a gorgeous dish! And hey, I remember that guy from Top Chef. I liked him.

  16. If I was served this I would instantly feel like I am sitting in a five-star restaurant; wonderful job, Barbara. i am so impressed.

  17. Beautiful and intriguing salad! I like the idea of the sweet goat cheese sorbet with the tangy tomatoes and vinaigrette- it sounds daring and delicious!

  18. Oh my goodness! I had goat cheese sorbet a couple of times at Marcus Samuelsson's restaurant Acquavit, and it continues to be my favorite item on his menu! Thank you for providing the recipe, I'm looking forward to recreating this version. I'm going to have to pair it with the tomato salad. I love it when a dish provides so many surprises.

  19. Oh to be your neighbor**sigh**
    I would be over 24 hours a day taste testing your amazing cooking. The salad sounds lovely and the sorbet...divine!
    Thank you Barbara for your sweet words of encouragement. I appreciate you so much.

  20. Beautiful. I think the goat cheese sorbet is an over-the-top way to garnish those lovely "fruits"! I am committed to serving tomatoes in as many ways as possible during their peak season.


  21. That salad looks so fresh and beautiful! Love tomatoes! and looking forward to tomato sorbet, you've got my interest and definitely got my curiosity!

  22. I am with doggy bloggy what an amazing salad you are such a talent


  23. This salad is amazing. The textures and flavors are fantastic!

  24. what an excellent way to showcase some of the finest summer foods!
    i remember jeff--he liked to run around shirtless. i didn't mind. :)

  25. Barbara...a goat cheese sorbet would probably never passed my radar...I'm too busy eating it on bread or cooking with it. I can really imagine how well the honey marrys with it. Fabulous find on your part.

    Those tomatoes are so pretty...they look like small pumpkins ;o)

    Thanks for sharing such an interesting post.

    Have a fabulous week,

  26. This post was like music to my ears. You said some of my favorite things....heirloom tomatoes and Thomas Keller.
    I have to tell you that that sorbet rocks! Wow, that is such a creative use of ingredients. Love it!

  27. This is so interesting, Barbara. Reading it, I can imagine it being delicious, though I would not have thought of it otherwise. Your heirloom tomatoes are beautiful!

  28. Can't wait to see the tomato sorbet - I'm intrigued!

  29. This is a really cool recipe! Goat cheese sorbet--who'd have thunk it? Although I must admit, the thing I really want to lap up is that yummy-looking chef...what a cutie!

  30. Wow, what a unique AWESOME summer salad!! That goat cheese sorbet looks so smooth, creamy, and delicious. I never could have dreamed this up, but it would be so perfect for entertaining!


  31. How beautiful Barbara, especially that goat cheese sorbet, definitely must try :)

  32. Such a pretty salad...off to pick some tomatoes...hugs.xoxo

  33. Barbara, this salad is just perfect for Summer, looks beautiful!

  34. Is absolutely pretty salad Barbara, love it! gloria

  35. That screams summer. I'm too scared to attempt it.

  36. The goat cheese sorbet sounds so interesting! And, nothing beats heirloom tomatoes. I could eat them every day all by themselves. Love the idea of this sorbet with figs too!

  37. this sounds absolutely delicious...nothing says summer like vine ripe tomatoes....

  38. What a beautiful salad! Just out of this world, I do wish I had your tomatoes and your flare . . . some combination.

  39. I love the way you think, Barbara! Goat cheese sorbet is brilliant. I bet it was the perfect pair with those lovely tomatoes!

  40. Beautiful produce, beautiful recipe Barbara! I love the sound of this recipe :D

  41. Oh my heavens, this is beyond fantastic! I can hardly finds the words... It just looks insanely delicious! So excited to try this one!

  42. This looks sensational Barbara. I must admit that odd savoury ice-cream flavours unnerve me, but this actually sounds very appealing. Glad you like verjuice, I think it's wonderful and such a great substitute for white wine when cooking for kids :)

    Oh how I wish summer would hurry up, those tomatoes look SO good.

  43. What a beautiful salad! The tomatoes, oh my. You could give the top chef a run for the money!

  44. Hello Barbara,
    The sorbet sounds delicious. I have so many tomatoes growing outside in the garden that would be perfect for this salad. I love your new header! I also read your waffle recipe, incredible! My family are down visiting and I have been trying to catch up with my favorite blogs that I have so missed.
    PS, yes I do go to the ABC in NYC often, we live an hour from city and try to go in once a week or at least once a month, when I am downtown I stop in.. I especially love it at Christmas, they have the most adorable santa I have ever seen.

  45. Hey Barbara, I just clicked over to see what your'e up to-no new posts but your new header is nice! I really like it...

  46. My mouth is watering. It helps none at all that I'm starving and waiting on lunch to arrive with MJ...

  47. What a great post. That goat cheese sorbet simply begs to be tried. Thanks for sharing this one with us. It looks wonderful. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

  48. I LOVE COMING TO YOUR SITE!!!! So beautifully written and the recipes just knock my socks off - really! Goat cheese sorbet - are you kidding me? I'm all over this one! (but I will have to search for that vinegar)

  49. I must admit, I still pick dandelions and blow them.

  50. Hello,

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  51. Hi Barbara,

    There is nothing like a beautiful ripe tomato, the smell and taste is the best.
    These recipes you have shared are wonderful and will make the salad and sorbet. Thanks for sharing.
    Also like the new fresh look to your blog.

    Happy week

  52. Gorgeous salad! Can't wait for our summer to try it out

  53. It was love at Goat Cheese Sorbet.

    How awesome. I love goat cheese in absolutely everything (I think at this point I might be part goat cheese) and use any excuse to throw it into a recipe.

    I'm totally trying this one out!

  54. what a perfect summer salad....those heirloom tomatoes are gorgeous!! I have not seen many in our markets,I'm not sure why. and that goat cheese sorbet is just outrageous!!
    thanks for such a great post!

  55. Kudos to you for trying Jeff's recipe! I remember watching Jeff on Top Chef. I really liked the idea of his sorbets and wish he could've hung in there a little longer. This looks like a gorgeous and wonderful recipe! The goat cheese sorbet looks creamy and I bet it delivers just the right amount of tang to the tomato salad. It looks delightful!

  56. This has been a week for tomatoes with wonderful sorbets---I just ate a grilled green tomato topped with purple basil sorbet at a local restaurant here in Nashville, and now here's your lovely rendition of a Top Chef recipe to consider...creamy goodness, that goat cheese sorbet, as Mary writes, it begs to be tried.

  57. Bravo to you! Or should that be Bravo TV to you? LOL
    The dish is very impressive. I think you would have won any Quick Fire Challenge with this. ;)

  58. That goat cheese sorbet is an amazing idea! I want to try this out, it is so my kind of dish! simply beautiful!

  59. Bravo to you for executing this tasty dish!!

    Every flavour goes so well together!

    MMMMMMMMMM,...I also love verjus!!

  60. Miamm !!! Incredibly airy and refined (talking about the goat cheese sorbet) I love it888



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