Tomato, Cantaloupe, and Basil Salad with Tomato Water
Use only perfectly ripe tomatoes for this dish. They will yield much more liquid to ladle around each colorful serving.
- 4 pounds ripe beefsteak tomatoes, cored
- Coarse salt
- 1 ripe cantaloupe, halved lengthwise, seeded
- 2 pounds assorted small ripe heirloom and cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Freshly ground pepper
- Puree beefsteak tomatoes and 3 tablespoons salt in a food processor until smooth. Line a bowl with double thickness of cheesecloth; transfer puree to bowl. Using a melon baller; scoop out as much cantaloupe as possible into balls; set aside. Scrape out remaining cantaloupe; puree in a food processor. Add to tomato puree. Gather cheesecloth and tie into a bundle. Suspend bundle from a large wooden spoon; hang over bowl to collect the juices for 2 hours (to yield 4 cups liquid).
- Core heirloom tomatoes; slice into wedges and rounds. Slice cherry tomatoes in half. Place tomatoes in a bowl; add melon balls, basil, and olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
- Divide among shallow bowls, mounding salad in center of each. Ladle tomato water around salad and serve immediately.
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