Salt & Sugar-Cured Tomatoes with Fried Pistachios

This is a beautiful and quick salad using heirloom tomatoes available in summer. The orange flower water (available at Mediterranean markets) gives the salad a lovely fragrance. Keep your tomatoes on the counter. Don't put them in the fridge; the will feel depressed and loose their flavor.

  • Firm heirloom and/or tangy green tomatoes
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Sugar
  • Sicilian pistachios
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Orange blossom water

Slice tomatoes as thin as possible without shredding-1/8" ideal. In ceramic or glass dish, lay out 1 layer of slices neatly without overlapping. Season very carefully with salt and tiniest pinch of sugar to quick-cure them. Build another layer on top and repeat the cure, until you have stacked all your tomatoes. Cure tomatoes for one hour. Tomatoes will weep so make sure your vessel has a rim to collect the "tears". 

Fry pistachios in EVOO in small pot on stove just until they sizzle. Cool.

To Serve:

Arrange a neat, shingled, circle of tomato slices in shallow bowls or a platter with a rim, leaving 1/2" of plate perimeter where the green oil will pool up. 

Very sparingly splash some drops of orange blossom water over the tomatoes. You want to smell it and taste it, but in a fleeting way. Scatter small spoonful of fried pistachios on the tomatoes and then spoon the olive oil they were fried in around the empty white perimeter left on the plate. 

This recipe is slightly adapted from Prune by Gabrielle Hamilton