Mary Beth Clark

Culinary Educator · Consultant · Author

Fresh Tomato Salad with Plums, Figs, Berries, Honey Vinegar Dressing

With summer produce extending into Autumn, fresh tomato salad tastes better than ever! Little cherry tomatoes are almost bursting with juice, plump Canastrinos are as enticing as Roman Candles, Sunrays, and Brandy Wines. I could not resist the mound of Italian purple plums or figs either, the last of this season. Returning from the outdoor market, arms draped with bags, what should we make?

Let's focus on tomato as the fruit it is. Forget sauteing or roasting them, that comes later when leaves fall and the cold sets in. Enjoy this end-of-season treat. Make a fresh fruit salad, combining unusual ingredients not usually sharing the same plate. Be sure to include some tropical fruit, along with silky smooth coconut oil as part of the dressing. Finish with delicate honey vinegar. When vinegar is a key component, as it is here, it is worth the effort to include it in the dish. Using the right vinegar is so important. It can make or break a dish. Lindera Farms Honey Vinegar makes this fresh tomato salad special as it segues from ingredient to ingredient, regardless of season.

What should we add? Perhaps apples and berries, along with those ripe plums and figs of course. Keep it fresh and play with color and texture. (The nutritional benefits naturally follow.) Contrast smooth and supple, with soft and juicy. Sprinkle in some crunch with ruby-colored pomegranate seeds. Flirt sweet against tart soothing all with flecks of fresh herbs. Change the same fruit by cutting it into wedges and slices. Visually engaging, everyone will enjoy how various cuts of the same fruit not only appear different but taste different, too. It's all in the hand, how you present the "fruit salad".

Watch how your guests brighten and appreciate your creativity as they taste salad from a different perspective. With all of these ripe fruits, this tomato salad just happens to be filled with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It is as much fun to make as it is tasting different combinations with each bite.

Tomatoes (Firm ripe Beefsteak, Campari, Green Zebra or other heirloom varieties)
Cherry tomatoes (Firm ripe Sweet 100's, Sun drops, Heirloom Black Cherry, or other varieties)
Plums (Italian purple plums, cherry-colored Victoria plums, plump Damsons with their blueish-black skins )
Berries (blackberries, raspberries)
Tropical Fruit (Lychees, Rambutans, Coconut, Papaya, or other)
Scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
Pistachios, shelled
Leafy greens (Arugula, Frisee, Baby Spinach, Baby Kale)
Fresh Herbs: Parsley, Tarragon
Salt to taste

Dressing: Taste vinegar. For Lindera Farms, use equal amounts vinegar to oil. Example:
2 tablespoons Lindera Farms Honey Vinegar
1 tablespoon almond oil
1 tablespoon coconut oil

Individual Serving Plates or Large Platter: Layer salad ingredients. Begin with leafy greens, and place the heavier fruit slices on top followed by lighter ingredients. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds, scallion slices, nuts, and herbs over. Lightly salt to taste. Whisk the honey vinegar and oils together then drizzle over the salad. Enjoy!


Walk through the produce market. "Taste" ripe tomatoes from memory then choose fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and herbs that look good and appeal to you. It is always surprising what we discover when we follow the seasons without recipes. Freedom provides new delicious possibilities.

Note: A friend of mine, Nancy Brown, owner of Foodlyn, recently sent me a bottle of honey vinegar.
Foodlyn: Perhaps I would enjoy it, but nothing was asked of me. With my first taste, I was hooked, so I want you to know about it. Lindera Farms Honey Vinegar is exceptional. It is superior in taste and aroma to other honey vinegars I’ve used. Daniel Liberson is the creator of this vinegar and other outstanding flavors, available at Foodlyn.

Not only does it blend well with diverse ingredients as in this fresh fruit salad, it connects them bringing harmony to the plate. This is a gentle honey vinegar, not sharp, enhancing what it touches from beverages, appetizers, salads, soups and seafood to sauces, vegetables, and desserts. Use it as a valuable ingredient or as a finish to a dish. Daniel gets his high-quality honey he uses for his vinegar from Golden Angels Apiary in Virginia, which is a family-owned beekeeping operation. Lindera Farms Honey Vinegar makes a fine addition to your culinary repertoire as well as a cherished gift.







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