Cook the Book: Tomato, Montrachet, and Basil Salad

Cook the Book: Tomato, Montrachet, and Basil Salad

Like a lot of people my age, the Silver Palate Cookbook became my go-to cookbook when I first started cooking for friends and girlfriends. In fact, the first brunch I ever cooked for my wife featured two recipes from the Silver Palate. Julee Rosso's and Sheila Lukins's recipes are simultaneously sophisticated and down to earth, and—here's the best part—they always work.

This was one of the most popular summer salad recipes from the original Silver Palate.

Tomato, Montrachet, and Basil Salad


  • 6 large ripe tomatoes
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1/4 cup Basil Purée (recipe follows)
  • 1/4 cup niçoise or other imported black olives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup best-quality olive oil
  • Dash of red wine vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 Montrachet cheese or 6 ounces of other mild creamy chèvre


  1. 1.

    Core the tomatoes, cut into thick slices, then cut the slices into halves. Transfer to a mixing bowl.

  2. 2.

    Peel the onion, slice into thin rings, add to the bowl, and turn gently with a spoon.

  3. 3.

    Add the remaining ingredients except the cheese, and again turn gently. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

  4. 4.

    Just before serving, transfer the salad to a serving dish and crumble the Montrachet cheese over all.

  5. 5.

    Basil Purée

  6. 6.

    Cover; refrigerate.