Heirloom Tomatoes and Cucumbers, Chimichurri, Crispy Mushrooms and Garlic

tomatoesCreated by Chef Jonathan Perno
of Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm

Chef Perno’s Heirloom salad couldn’t be a better match for the summer season and for a chilled glass of Kongsgaard Chardonnay. “The 2010 Napa Valley Chardonnay’s almond richness will balance well with the tomatoes and the citrus notes of the wine will complement the citrus in the salad,” says Perno. “The mineral character of the wine will exemplify the flavor of the toasted quinoa, and the crispy garlic and mushrooms will match the oak.”

Chimichurri Sauce:
1/2 bunch Italian parsley
1/2 bunch cilantro
3 medium Serrano peppers, or equivalent chopped green chile
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 Tablespoons lime juice (about 3 limes)
1 – 1 1/2 cups olive oil
salt to taste

In a blender add the Serranos, garlic, parsley, cilantro, a pinch of salt and the lime juice. Blend at medium speed while adding the olive oil. Stop the blender and scrape down the sides. Blend quickly to incorporate all the ingredients and adjust with more salt if needed. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Quinoa vinaigrette:
1/2 cup cooked toasted quinoa
1 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup preserved lemon (optional)
2 Tablespoons minced shallot
2-3 cups olive oil

Combine the quinoa, lemon juice, preserved lemon and shallot. Season with salt and pepper and let sit for half an hour. Whisk in olive oil. Adjust seasoning.

Salad Components:
4 each heirloom tomatoes, 3/8” slice
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cucumbers (we like locally grown Armenian and Japanese varieties)
1 cup crispy sautéed oyster mushroom strips, lightly salted
1/2 cup crispy sautéed garlic chips, lightly salted
1/2 cup sunflower sprouts


Generously streak the bottom of a serving platter (or individual plates if preferred) with chimichurri. Gently toss tomatoes and cucumbers with salt, pepper and olive oil. Pile in the middle of the platter, allowing ingredients to fall where they may. Drizzle with quinoa vinaigrette. Top with crispy mushroom and garlic bits. Crown with sprouts.
Yields approximately 2 cups

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