The tomato salad at the base of this dish is a refined take on something Mr. Stitt said — "Every Southerner knows about: a tomato, onion, and cucumber salad that generally gets dressed in corn oil and bad vinegar." In this sumptuous iteration, the tomatoes and cucumbers are carefully coated in shallot vinaigrette made with fruity olive oil and sweet cider vinegar. To read more about Frank Stitt and his Crabmeat and Heirloom Tomato Salad, visit the Wall Street Journal's "Off Duty" section.
Read more recipes at the Wall Street Journal's Off Duty section.
- 6 heirloom tomatoes, mixed in size and color
- 1 small shallot, finely minced
- 3 Tablespoons apple-cider vinegar
- 6 Tablespoons olive oil
- Flakey sea salt, preferably Maldon, and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 small firm cucumbers, peeled like a zebra, halved and seeded
- 12 Ounces jumbo lump crabmeat
- 4 large basil leaves, minced
- 4 large mint leaves, minced
- 1 Tablespoon chives, snipped fine
- 20 golden and red cherry tomatoes, halved or cut into quarters, depending on size
Trim the tops and bottoms from the heirloom tomatoes. Slice the tomatoes crosswise into even ¼- to ½-inch slices.
In a medium mixing bowl, cover the shallot with vinegar and let macerate for at least 10 minutes. Whisk in the oil. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper, to taste.
Meanwhile, slice the cucumbers into very thin half moons. Sprinkle with salt and place them on a paper-towel-lined plate. Refrigerate them for 10 minutes, then remove and pat dry.
While cucumbers crisp, place the crabmeat in a mixing bowl and gently toss with the herbs and 3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Sprinkle the heirloom slices with salt and pepper. On four plates, arrange the heirloom slices so they overlap in a single layer. Scatter cucumber slices and cherry tomato halves over each serving. Spoon vinaigrette, about 2 tablespoons per person, over salads.
Distribute crabmeat among plates and arrange it into a mound in the center of each salad. Drizzle with extra vinaigrette, if desired, and serve.