My Recipe Box

Heirloom Tomato Napoleon with Parmesan Crisps & Herb Salad


Serves four.

Here’s an impressive and delicious way to show off a variety of colors and styles of heirloom tomatoes.

You can see this recipe in action as part of our Homegrown/Homemade video series.

For the parmesan crisps:
  • 2-1/2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
For the vinaigrette:
  • 1 small shallot, minced (about 1-1/2 Tbs.)
  • 4 tsp. Champagne vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. grapeseed oil or canola oil
  • 1 cup baby arugula leaves
  • 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into bite-size pieces if large
  • 1/2 cup fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1/2 cup 1-inch-long fresh chive pieces
  • 20 small nasturtium leaves (optional)
  • Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Sixteen 1/3-inch-thick heirloom tomato slices, preferably of different colors, sizes, and shapes (2 to 3 lb.)
  • About 20 various heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
Make the parmesan crisps:

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat it to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a nonstick baking liner or parchment. Spread the grated cheese over the entire surface of the liner. Bake until the cheese is amber brown, about 18 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool. Break into irregular pieces (each about 3 inches across). You’ll need 12 pieces for the Napoleons, but this batch makes extra to cover the inevitable breaking (and snacking).

Make the vinaigrette:

Put the shallot, vinegar, mustard, and a pinch each of salt and pepper in a small bowl or dressing cruet. Allow the shallots to sit in the vinegar for at least 20 minutes and up to 1 hour. Whisk or shake in both oils. Season to taste with more salt and pepper.

To serve:

In a large bowl, mix the arugula, parsley, basil, tarragon, chives, and nasturtium leaves (if using). Lightly dress with some of the vinaigrette. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide the salad evenly among 4 salad plates. Arrange a large tomato slice on each salad, sprinkle lightly with salt, and top with a piece of parmesan crisp. Continue to alternate the lightly salted tomatoes and cheese pieces until you have used 3 pieces of the parmesan crisp in each Napoleon. Finish off the top of each Napoleon with an unsalted tomato slice. Arrange the cherry tomatoes around the Napoleons and drizzle any remaining vinaigrette around the plates. Sprinkle everything with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 230; Fat (g): 17; Fat Calories (kcal): 150; Saturated Fat (g): 3.5; Protein (g): 8; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 6; Carbohydrates (g): 16; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 6; Sodium (mg): 390; Cholesterol (mg): 5; Fiber (g): 5;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Very good. Had to sub white wine vinegar for the champagne and dressing turned out fine. Used a zester for the cheese so I only had to bake it for about 7 minutes. The edges started to darken much faster than the middle so I pulled it when it was a slight yellow color and they turned out thin and delicious. Added some goat cheese to the top and used mixed greens. Will definitely make this again. It's a beautiful dish.

At first I was a little concerned about making the Parmesan crisps but the Silpat liner made it easy-just pull it away from the bottom and it's easy to make the right size crisps. Just remember not to eat them all before you make the salad. Also start watching the crisps at about twelve minutes-mine were ready at that point. Better not to risk a tray of burnt Parmesan-especially when it can be 18 dollars a pound. With that said, a less expensive hard grating cheese-even a Gran Padana would probably make a decent crisp. Didn't have arugula, made the salad with oak leaf lettuce and the appropriate herbs from the garden. Our tomatoes of choice were Amana Orange, Big Rainbow, Green Zebra and Brandywine.

This is wonderful. With or without the greens and the dressing, the tomatoes (make sure you have good tomatoes) and cheese crisps are addictive!

This is a fantastic way to use Heirloom tomatoes. It has wonderful flavors and textures, and I agree with another reviewer who said that 3 layers are plenty. The crunch of the parmesan crisps is delightful. It is not only delicious but beautiful on the plate. Winner.

A big hit. Do it only with really great tomatoes. 3 layers instead of 4 was just right - otherwise it's a huge salad.



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