Stop whatever you’re doing, go buy two heirloom tomatoes and make this salad. Immediately.
That’s how confident I am that you’ll like it. This is the kind of salad that makes you think, “is this really this good? How? Why?” Don’t ask too many questions, though, and just embrace it.
I’m not going to lie to you: I saw the words “savory granola” in the original recipe and I was a little doubtful. I sprinkle sweet granola on my smoothie bowls every morning, but the idea of making a savory version kind of grossed me out.
Fortunately, this granola turned out to be the best I’ve ever made. Even though it’s “savory” for the purposes of this dish, I ended up eating a bowl of it with almond milk for dessert. You could eat the leftovers for breakfast or even sprinkle it on top of sweet toast as a snack. The options are endless.
So yeah. Make this salad. It’s perfect for summer nights when you don’t feel like cooking, or mid-day lunches when you want to escape oven-like temperatures.
Here’s a song to play while you wait for the granola to come out of the oven. It’s the perfect amount of distracting mixed with anticipation.
Heirloom Tomatoes with Savory Granola (slightly adapted from Food & Wine)
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup light agave nectar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup shelled unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup salted roasted sunflower seeds
1 cup fresh ricotta (go for the good stuff; it makes a difference)
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup sunflower sprouts
three 12-ounce heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges
Preheat the oven to 325° and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, toss the oats with the agave, water, 1/4 cup of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of salt until the oats are thoroughly coated. Spread the oats on the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes, stirring twice, until the granola is light golden. Stir in the pistachios and sunflower seeds and bake for about 10 minutes longer, until golden brown and dry. Let the granola cool on the baking sheet, stirring occasionally.
In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta with the lemon zest, 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. In another medium bowl, toss the sunflower sprouts with the remaining 1 tablespoon each of olive oil and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
Arrange the tomato wedges in shallow bowls and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the ricotta around the tomatoes. Scatter the sprouts on top and sprinkle with some of the granola; save the remaining granola for another use. Serve right away.