Heirloom Tomato Salad with Fresh Herb Pesto Drizzle

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Welcome to Claire's: 35 Years of Recipes and Reflections from the Landmark Vegetarian Restaurant

Welcome to Claire's

By Claire Criscuolo

Published 2014

  • About

I grow organic heirloom tomatoes (about 3,000 pounds a season!) and herbs for Claire’s in my backyard. While I adore my time in the garden, it’s a ton of work. Salads as luscious as the one below remind me of why the work is totally worth it!


  • 3 large locally grown heirloom tomatoes (I like to use 1 each of Brandywine, Black Prince, and Juliet), cut into thick slices
  • ½ cup packed assorted fresh herbs (chives, basil, oregano, mint, or others)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


Arrange the tomato slices in a circular pattern on a platter. Place the herbs in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Drizzle the olive oil over the herbs. Using a citrus zester or paring knife, peel thin strips from the skin of the lemon and set aside. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice from half into a bowl. Measure out 2 tablespoons of the juice and add it to the processor. Add salt and pepper. Cover and process for about 20 seconds, stopping once to scrape the sides of the processor bowl with a rubber spatula, until the herbs are finely minced. Taste for seasonings. Using a small spoon, drizzle the herb pesto evenly over the tomatoes. Scatter the lemon strips evenly over the salad. Top with additional pepper, if desired.