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Marinated Heirloom Tomatoes

Marinated Heirloom Tomatoes and Burratta

Marinated tomatoes might not sound like they will knock your socks off, or maybe that’s your thing and you know they will, but these sweet and juicy bites of summery heaven have all the feel-goods of a sunshiny day plus amazingly simple elegance. Enticed yet?

This recipe is inspired by a dish we had last fall in a funky tapas bar one could only find in Napa.  The tomatoes were picked that day from the garden behind the restaurant- where else but Cali do the servers tell you that?  Ron admittedly wasn’t all that excited about marinated tomatoes, and I wasn’t the best at explaining exactly what qualifies a tomato as heirloom (I’ve since upped my game), but I did guarantee it was going to be delicious and I love it when I’m right! They served the chunky tomatoes with a bright green herbed olive oil and dolloped creamy burratta. We were in heirloom paradise!

Try this easy, no fuss version for an appetizer with a glass of Chianti or as a stunning side to pasta a la carbonara. You’ll be hooked!

Marinated Heirloom Tomatoes


1 lb heirloom tomatoes.*

1/8 oz. fresh basil leaves, about 10 Leaves

2 ½ tsp fresh lemon juice

¼ tsp lemon zest

1 tbls extra virgin olive oil

A pinch of granulated white sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

4 oz fresh burratta cheese

*I’ve made this recipe using every kind of beautiful tomato I could get my hands on! In the summer I prefer big and luscious fruits since they’re so wonderfully sweet then, but in the winter I’ll reach for assorted grape and cherry heirlooms. I find that the smaller fruit maintains sweetness in the colder months a little bit better than some of the larger ones I’ve tried, but a lot of that depends on where you’re sourcing your fruits from. Feel free to mix it up as well! The more shapes and colors, the more interesting the dish!



Core out the tops of the tomatoes using a paring knife, then slice into bite size wedges. Cherry and grape tomatoes may only need to be halved while larger fruits will yield numerous wedges. Place your fruit in a large mixing bowl.


Stack the basil leaves one on top of the other and roll into a cigar shape. Slice the basil into ribbons, better known as chiffonade, and add them to the mixing bowl.


Add the lemon juice, sugar, olive oil, freshly ground black pepper and a dash of salt. Mix well, cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to a few hours.


Just before serving cut your burratta into ½ inch chunks. Using a slotted spoon, plate your tomatoes and dollop burratta intermittently on and around the fruit. Finish by spooning a little of the marinade over the tomatoes and sprinkle the lemon zest top. Option to add flecked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper if desired.

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