Heirloom tomatoes with basil

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

Heirloom tomatoes with basil

This recipe puts the essence of summer on your plate, but first, some feedback from a chef in Manhattan. 

Contrary to my advice regarding shaking the pan when searing scallops, don't shake the pan until they are the desired brown color. Also, cook potatoes for potato salad by starting them out in cold water that is brought to a boil. Plunging them into boiling water overcooks the outside before the inside is done. 

Trina Histon, PhD, of Kaiser Permanente's Care Management Institute, informs me that grocery shopping at a farmers' market is worth 60 steps per minute of shopping. Just think of what you can do on your break. 

For a simple, delicious, and easy to prepare salad that can be made in less than 5 minutes, try this recipe. 


  • 4 large heirloom tomatoes of different colors, sliced thickly
  • 1 handful basil, cut into thin strips
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, aged for years … or not
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Small pieces of mozzarella or feta cheese optional


  1. Arrange the tomatoes on a platter. 
  2. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. 
  3. Top with basil and cheese if desired.