Lunchbreak: Heirloom red zebra and pineapple tomato salad, prepared by Green Zebra chef David Chapman

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Chef David Chapman

Green Zebra
1460 W. Chicago Avenue
(312) 243-7100

Heirloom Red Zebra & Pineapple Tomato Salad with English Cucumber Gel, Tomato Water, Plymouth Gin and Garden Flowers

6-7 medium to large heirloom tomatoes. At least two varieties. Reserve two for tomato water.
1 English cucumber
garden flowers - Use edible flowers that you would find in your garden, such as nasturtium, cucumber, basil, coriander, chive. Use herbs like basil, chives, and parsley.

Cucumber Gel

0.5 pound English Cucumber, about half of a store bought one
0.75 ounces Plymouth Gin
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon sugar
0.25 teaspoon salt
1.5 Tablespoons agar-agar

In a blender, process all ingredients for about one minute. Transfer to an appropriate sized pot and bring to a boil while whisking. Turn down the heat to a simmer and cook for three minutes longer. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and cool down overnight. The next day, the ingredients should have solidified. Place in a blender and process until smooth.

Tomato Water

Take two tomatoes and process in food processor until tomatoes break down completely. Place the processed tomatoes in a double layer of cheesecloth, and hang overnight. The next day, save liquid from the strained tomatoes, and discard the contents in the cheesecloth. Season water with a Tablespoon of Kosher salt. Taste and add more salt if necessary.

When selecting heirloom tomatoes, make sure there they are not split. The tomatoes should be somewhat firm, as they will soften quickly. Certain varieties are used for different purposes. Some are for slicing and eating raw, whereas some are meant for sauces. Heirloom tomatoes will vary in sweetness and acidity. Consult your neighborhood friendly farmer at the market, or knowledgeable grocer to choose the appropriate types for you.

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