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Tomato Salad with Tarragon Pesto & Pumpernickel Croutons

  • 35 m
  • 1 h 30 m
Nora Singley
“With this easy tomato salad, more is more—so if you want, go wild with an outrageous selection of tomatoes. Look for big gnarly tomatoes, plum-shaped varieties, smooth or peach-fuzzed skins, zebra stripes, not to mention the miniatures at the summer farmers' market. All the visual variation means you'll get a range of flavors as well.”


    • 2 pounds Indigo and/or other heirloom tomatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
    • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    • ¾ teaspoon sugar
    • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
    • ¾ teaspoon ground pepper, divided
    • 4 cups cubed pumpernickel bread ( ½-inch)
    • 1½ cups packed fresh tarragon
    • ½ cup packed fresh basil
    • ⅓ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
    • 3 tablespoons toasted blanched hazelnuts
    • 1 small clove garlic
    • 6 cups watercress


  • 1 Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • 2 Toss tomatoes, 2 tablespoons oil, sugar, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Let stand for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  • 3 Meanwhile, toss bread with 1 tablespoon oil and ¼ teaspoon pepper on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until browned on the edges, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • 4 Combine tarragon, basil, Parmesan, hazelnuts, garlic and the remaining ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Add the remaining 5 tablespoons oil and pulse until just combined, with a rough texture.
  • 5 Gently stir the pesto and croutons into the tomatoes. Serve the tomato salad with watercress.
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