Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Jan Gautro
4 servings

For the prettiest presentation, choose purple, orange, green, and red heirloom tomatoes. Cilantro lends the dressing peppery flavor and a subtle green hue. Vary the taste of the dressing by using basil and lemon rind. The dressing will keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator, so consider doubling the recipe to keep some on hand.

How to Make It

Step 1

To prepare dressing, combine first 9 ingredients in a small food processor or blender; process 30 seconds or until pureed, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Cover and chill.

Step 2

To prepare salad, slice each tomato crosswise into 4 equal slices (about 1/2 inch thick). Place 1 tomato slice on each of 4 salad plates; sprinkle slices evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Top each serving with a few onion pieces and about 1 tablespoon avocado. Repeat layers 3 times, ending with avocado. Drizzle 2 tablespoons dressing over each serving; sprinkle with black pepper, if desired.

Ratings & Reviews

KaraZ63's Review

June 12, 2011
Pretty, quick and easy. My cooking light group loved it.

NaRa2007's Review

September 02, 2009
Can't get enough of Heirloom tomatoes this time of year and anything with cilantro works for me!! I had no buttermilk on hand so I made my own with 1 tsp white wine vinegar and 1/3 cup fat free milk. This was a beautiful salad - great presentation!! I served with the Corriander-Crusted Tuna with Black Been Salsa. This will definitely become a regular!

8stringfan's Review

August 21, 2009
FANTASTIC!!! Tastes great, fairly easy to prepare, and it looks like something you'd get at a high-end restaurant. Of course as soon as you cut into it, the thing will become a bit messier, but it sure is gorgeous sitting on a salad plate. My family doesn't care for cilantro so I subbed in flat-leaf parsley and the results were wonderful. We used a mix of Cherokee purples, early girl, and mortage lifters for the salad and I think the quality of this dish will be directly proportional to the quality of your tomatoes. I'd recommend assembling right before serving so that the avocado doesn't brown.

missstarr's Review

July 20, 2009
This was AMAZING - I bought heirloom tomatoes from the farmer's market and thought this recipe was just delicious. It's great for guests and simple enough to make for a weekday dinner. Highly recommended as is - no alterations necessary!

kbrady39's Review

May 08, 2009
I made this recipe about 30 times last summer for all my friends and family. It is such a hit! Beautiful to look at and so incredibly delicious.