Red and yellow tomato salad in a stainles steel dish on top of a rough wooden table.

Toma­to Sal­ad With Warm Almond Dressing

We host­ed a Wine­mak­er Din­ner in July focused on Library Wines from Jes­persen Ranch. We had a few veg­e­tar­i­ans attend and want­ed to pre­pare a wor­thy sub­sti­tute for the Abalone Broth pair­ing planned for our 2016 Reserve Chardon­nay. This toma­to carpac­cio was absolute­ly stun­ning served along­side the wine — the light almond top­ping mir­rored the wine’s del­i­cate oak fla­vors. The Chardonnay’s ten­sion and bright acid­i­ty were excel­lent with the yel­low and orange toma­toes, and a few leaves from our gar­den popped against the wine’s still youth­ful fruit flavors.

If you can’t get your hands on a Library bot­tle of our Chardon­nay, any cur­rent release Reserve Chardon­nay is a wor­thy substitute.


1 cup almond oil

1 cup nin­er olive oil

1x leek, white and light green parts sliced thin­ly and washed and drained

4x gar­lic cloves, peeled and sliced thin

½ — ¾ cup Mar­cona almonds, chopped

salt to taste

Add all cold ingre­di­ents to a sauce­pot. Cook on low heat until fra­grant and leeks and gar­lic are cooked through. Remove from heat. If mak­ing in advance, tem­per the condi­ment to room tem­per­a­ture or bare­ly warm before using (warmer will make it more fragrant).

This is also good driz­zled over grilled leeks and onions, seafood, poached chick­en and dip­ping sauce for bread with soft cheese!


2 lbs large heir­loom yel­low toma­toes, sliced as thin as pos­si­ble (we like yellow/​orange toma­toes with our library chardonnay)

nice salt

fresh cracked black pepper

banyuls or oth­er good wine vine­gar to taste

a few leaves/​herbs/​flowers to garnish

Right before serv­ing, slice toma­toes as thin as pos­si­ble. Arrange around plat­ters, with slight over­lap at most (we want as much toma­to sur­face area as pos­si­ble). Sea­son with salt and pep­per and a slight driz­zle of vine­gar. Then, mix up the condi­ment and driz­zle over the toma­toes to cov­er. Gar­nish, if desired, with onion sprouts, radish or mus­tard flow­ers (often found wild around town) or soci­ety gar­lic flow­ers (prob­a­bly in neigh­bors flower beds — you’ll know it when you walk by, the odor is strong. A lit­tle goes a long way).