Guest Recipe: Tomato Salad with Lemon Basil Pesto

Photos courtesy of Two Dads Cook

In the heat of summer, the simplest meals are often the best. This recipe from Scott and Jerry of Two Dads Cook is a twist on a caprese salad, with bright flavors that bring out the juicy deliciousness of in-season heirloom tomatos. Scott and Jerry, of New Jersey, call it "shore food," and it's true that New Jersey tomatoes are particularly famous, but this light, fresh salad will be just as well enjoyed Pacific-style. Pack it in your beach cooler or serve it in a big bowl at an outdoor dinner party.


A few handfuls of small heirloom tomatoes, halved
1 handful perlini mozzarella
flaky sea salt

For the pesto:
1 c. basil leaves
3 tbl. parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 clove garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
3 tbl. extra virgin olive oil
coarse salt
freshly ground black pepper
zest of one lemon
1 tbl. lemon juice

In a food processor, pulse the basil with parmesan and garlic until finely chopped. With the processor running, slowly add the olive oil. Season to taste with the salt and pepper. Gently fold in the lemon juice and zest.

In a mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, mozzarella balls, and tablespoon or two of pesto. Gently toss to coat. Finish with a three-finger pinch of flaky sea salt and a bit of olive oil.

For more East Coast style recipes, check out Scott and Jerry's blog, Two Dads Cook.

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