Tomato & Cucumber Tower with Black Peppercorn Truffle Oil Vinaigrette Featured

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Issue Date: June, 2011
Serves: Serves 8
Courtesy of: Chef Chris Nealy, Mansur’s on the Boulevard


  • 8 yellow tomatoes
  • 2 cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup micro greens
  • Black peppercorn and truffle oil vinaigrette (recipe follows)


Bring a pot of water to a boil. Core the tomatoes and make an X on their bottom end with the tip of a knife. Place in boiling water and remove when the skin begins to loosen. Drain, then immediately submerge in a large bowl of ice water. When cool, peel tomatoes, then cut horizontally into 3- to 4-inch-thick slices. Discard the bottom slice of each tomato, but keep the other slices in order.

Sprinkle each slice with salt and pepper. On individual plates, reassemble the tomatoes, placing five slices of cucumber between each layer. Drizzle the vinaigrette on top of tomato tower and around the plate. Finish with a small bunch of micro greens atop the tomato.

Black Peppercorn & Truffle Oil Vinaigrette:

  • 1 1/4 cups cottonseed oil
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons truffle oil
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper

In a small saucepan, heat cottonseed oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook until cloves are softened. Remove garlic and reserve for another dish. Let garlic-scented oil cool to room temperature. In a separate bowl, whisk together rice wine vinegar, garlic-scented oil, truffle oil and black pepper. Allow flavors to marry for a few hours and stir before serving.

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