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  • Writer's pictureL K

Hot House Tomato Salad 1.04 The Deer Hunters

Updated: Jul 5

"Only chef Sookie St. James can make a simple salad of hot house tomatoes and assorted fresh herbs seem like a religious experience."


  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 tbsp pistachios, shelled

  • 3-4 tomatoes on the vine

  • 5-6 cherry or grape tomatoes

  • 4-5 fresh basil leaves

  • 2-3 fresh mint leaves

  • ½ tsp orange zest

  • 2 tsp balsamic glaze

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat 1 ½ tbsp of the olive oil in a small skillet over medium high heat. Once the oil begins to sizzle, add the pistachios to toast. Toss them in the skillet occasionally so they don’t burn. Only cook for about 2-3 minutes or until they smell nutty. Be sure to monitor to avoid burning. 

  2. Remove the pistachios from the pan and roughly chop. Set aside to cool. 

  3. Thinly slice the tomatoes and spread evenly across a  large shallow bowl or a large plate. 

  4. Stack the basil leaves on top of each other and roll tightly. Using a sharp knife, cut the basil into thin ribbons. Unroll the leaves and repeat with the mint. 

  5. Sprinkle the fresh herbs on top of the tomatoes and add the chopped pistachios and orange zest. 

  6. Drizzle the salad with the remaining ½ tbsp of olive oil and the balsamic glaze. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

I feel like it was obvious when I did my original project that I had to make the magic risotto for this episode. It's one of Sookie's most iconic dishes (if not the most). However, I thought it would be a fun challenge to try and make a simple salad that was still elevated and gourmet for my encore. In addition to the tomatoes, I used basil and mint as my assorted fresh herbs. I also added toasted pistachios, flaky salt, freshly cracked pepper, orange zest, balsamic glaze, and a drizzle of lemon olive oil to create a beautiful yet light summer dish. Technically, hot house tomatoes mean they were grown out of season and in a greenhouse. Tomatoes are in season right now, but this is a dish you can make year round if you want. However, if you want the best tomatoes, I recommend getting them now!

Veggies don't appear too often on Gilmore Girls and this is only the 3rd salad I've made for this project, so it's fun to tackle something a little different now and then! Were you here for my other salads? You can find them here: 

Happy cooking from the Hollow!

If you missed my last encore recipe, catch up here!

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