When it comes to time in the kitchen, not all recipes should be rushed. Allow these heirloom tomatoes to be slow-roasted as it basks in its own sweet juices. Serve up with some asparagus and avocado for some crunchy and creamy textures.
Why I Love Slow Roasted Tomato Salad
I love cooked tomatoes. Even a quick toss in a fry pan such as I did with our Blistered Tomato and Basil Salad, transforms them into mouthfuls of juicy sweetness.
I didn’t want to overcomplicate this recipe as the roasted tomatoes would speak for itself.
Just adding some asparagus for crunch, avocado for creamy textures and sprinkles of micro purple cabbage to create leafy flutters.
These slow roasted tomatoes would also make a wonderful addition to the Christmas banquet.
Lovely red colours of the tomatoes and the green hues from the mixed leaves, asparagus and avocado is just asking to be served next to your turkey or ham!
What Are Heirloom Tomatoes?
Heirloom tomatoes are simply stunning to look at. Love walking through a farmers’ market and seeing them in such abundance. I love how they come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colours, with all of its folds and bumps.
A tomato is considered an heirloom tomato because it refers to a variety whose seeds have been passed down for generations.
Essentially, they are open-pollinated varieties. This means that if you re-plant the seeds from heirloom tomatoes, they will grow into new tomato plants.
As you can expect, planting 2 or even 3 different varieties close together can yield in a whole new variety!
As a result of this rustic growing, they come in all sorts of different shapes, colours and sizes. You’ll find that they are not like the perfect hybrids we find in supermarkets where they are all perfectly round, vibrant in colour and all nice and glossy.
Heirloom tomatoes are bred for their flavour. They are meant to be tastier and super juicy. Their skin is thinner and does require some care when transporting and should also be handled gently when cooking.
What Are Some of The Heirloom Tomato Varieties?
It is incredible how many different varieties of heirloom tomatoes there are in the marketplace.
Considering that open-pollination can occur at any given time, the varieties will continue to be endless. No doubt if the seeds have been handed down for generations, there will be many varieties that no longer exist.
But according to Tomato Fest, these are the top 10 most popular varieties:
- Black Cherry (purple/black)
- Brandywine, Sudduth Strain (pink beefsteak)
- Chocolate Stripes (red/green striped)
- Blondkopfchen (yellow cherry)
- Black Krim (purple/black beefsteak)
- Brandywine, OTV (red beefsteak)
- Amana Orange (orange beefsteak)
- Azoychka (yellow/orange beefsteak)
- Cherokee Chocolate (mahogany beefsteak)
- Sunset’s Red Horizon (red beefsteak)
How to Grow Microgreens Indoors?
If you haven’t already gathered, I love microgreens. They are so fresh, stunning and also adds to a salad perfectly, especially as garnish, giving it a really delicate finish.
Growing microgreens has become somewhat of an “in” thing to do. The main reasons are they grow in a very short period of time, 9-12 days and can be grown indoors. Now, I’m no green thumb, but I was curious to find out how it was done.
It would seem that all you need is microgreen seeds of your choosing, soil, tray, light and water.
I’ll leave it up to the experts to show you how it’s done, but I just wanted you to know that it’s possible to do instead of having to buy them and so much easier than growing herbs! Just do a quick Google search, and you’ll find what you need.
How to Make Slow Roasted Tomato Salad
How to Slow Roast Tomatoes
The portions for this side salad is essentially 4 large heirloom tomatoes, so 1 per person. But you can, of course, get 6 medium-sized ones or mix up the sizes and colours.
Whatever you can find and whatever mood you’re in to create this delicious recipe.
Preheat the oven at 150°C or 300°F.
Cut the heirloom tomatoes in half horizontally.
Place the heirloom tomatoes, skin side down, on a baking paper-lined sheet pan.
Mix the garlic powder with 2 tbsp of olive oil and baste the tomato generously.
Put in the oven and roast for 1.5 hours.
How to Prepare the Salad
Bring a medium-sized saucepan of water to the boil.
Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus. Cut them in half. Cut the stem half in half again, lengthwise. Blanch in boiling water for 1 minute. Remove, drain under cold water and set aside to dry.
If your microgreens come in a pot, cut off as close to the soil as possible. Rinse to remove excess dirt and pat dry.
Wash and dry mixed leaves.
Cut the avocado in half, remove stone and peel. For the first half, slice thinly and then press down to create a fan.
For the second half, cut in half again lengthwise, slice thinly and press down to create a thinner fan. You should have 3 fans.
How To Assemble The Salad
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the blanched asparagus, balsamic vinegar, ½ tbsp of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss until well combined.
Lay the mixed leaves on your platter. Always have the leafy ends on the outer rim of the platter.
Add the asparagus around the platter.
Place the 3 avocado fans on the platter, spread them out.
Gently place the roasted heirloom tomatoes around the platter.
Sprinkle the micro purple cabbage all over.
Add a generous amount of salt to taste.
Sprinkle some pepper to taste.
How spectacular would it be if you placed this in the centre of the table when you’ve got friends around for a BBQ? It’s lovely red, green and purple hues also make this a lovely Christmas side salad, worthy on any family table.
Either way, don’t let the time it takes to roast the tomatoes put you off. It’s a leave and forget until the alarm goes off. The rest of the salad is truly simple to put together.
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Slow Roasted Tomato Salad
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- Preheat the oven at 150°C or 300°F.
- Cut the heirloom tomatoes in half crosswise.
- Place the heirloom tomatoes, skin side down, on a baking paper-lined sheet pan.
- Mix the garlic powder with 2 tbsp of olive oil and baste the tomato generously.
- Put in the oven and roast for 1.5 hours.
- Bring a medium-sized saucepan of water to the boil.
- Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus. Cut them in half. Cut the stem half in half again, lengthwise. Blanch in boiling water for 1 minute. Remove, drain under cold water and set aside to dry.
- If your microgreens come in a pot, cut off as close to the soil as possible. Rinse to remove excess dirt and pat dry.
- Wash and dry mixed leaves.
- Cut the avocado in half, remove stone and peel. For the first half, slice thinly and then press down to create a fan. For the second half, cut in half again lengthwise, slice thinly and press down to create a thinner fan. You should have 3 fans.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the blanched asparagus, balsamic vinegar, ½ tbsp of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss until well combined.
- Lay the mixed leaves on your platter. Always have the leafy ends on the outer rim of the platter.
- Add the asparagus around the platter.
- Place the 3 avocado fans on the platter, spread them out.
- Gently place the roasted heirloom tomatoes around the platter.
- Sprinkle the micro purple cabbage all over.
- Add a generous amount of salt to taste.
- Sprinkle some pepper to taste.
- You can use any large tomato you wish if you can’t get Heirloom tomatoes.
- You can substitute asparagus with green beans.
- Any microgreen will be fine to use.
- Garlic powder was used for this recipe instead of fresh garlic as it allowed for a more even spread when basting.
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