If you do not have vanilla bean paste in the refrigerator, slit a vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into a teaspoon of oil, mixing well. This will approximate the paste.
1 teaspoon vanilla paste*
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
2 cups heirloom tomatoes
6 ounces fresh Bufalo mozzarella
1/3–1/2 cup New Natives micro greens
1 tablespoon fruity extra virgin olive oil
1 large pinch of Maldon salt or other large flake salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Half firm sweet nectarine
Whisk the vanilla paste and oil together using a fork.
Cut tomatoes into 1/2 inch dice, removing seeds and very wet bits.(Or, use a very sharp knife to cut “petals” from the outside of the tomato, then cut into 1/2 inch squares.) Drizzle lightly with the vanilla oil and toss lightly.
Use fingers to shred cheese along the grain into pieces about the size of the tomatoes. Drizzle with the olive oil, tossing to coat evenly.
Use the sharpest knife you have to shave thin slices from the nectarine.
Toss tomatoes and cheese together. Add the sprouts and gently toss to mix in.
Very gently, mix in half of the nectarine slices. Swirl in the bowl to “dress” everything, and taste for balance. You might want to drizzle in a little more of the vanilla oil.
Place salad mixture into chilled individual serving bowls, making sure nectarines are evenly distributed, then sprinkle the rest of the nectarine slices over the salads.
Sprinkle lightly with fresh pepper and salt.
Serve right away.
*Vanilla paste is just that – a paste made from vanilla beans, sometimes with sugar and/or oil. I like our local The Vanilla Company product a lot, and that is what I use for this recipe.
YIELD: Serves 4