Servings: Serves 4
- 2 pounds assorted heirloom tomatoes , cored and cut into large chunks
- 1/2 cup gin (must be high quality, such as No. 209 or Hendrick's)
- 1/4 tsp. finely ground juniper berries ; available at TheSpiceHouse.com
- 2 thinly sliced shallots
- 2 cloves garlic , peeled and finely grated
- 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar , plus more to taste
- 1 tsp. sea salt , plus more to taste
- 1/2 bunch of basil
- 8 thin slices pumpernickel bread
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground pepper
In a bowl, gently combine tomatoes, gin, juniper berries, shallots, garlic, vinegar, and sea salt. Pick unbruised whole leaves (about 20) from basil to reserve as a garnish; store in a cool place. Add rest of basil, including stems, to the bowl. Let tomatoes marinate for 1 to 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 225°. Arrange bread slices on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil; add a pinch of sea salt. Dry in oven until crisp, about 20 minutes.
Adjust seasoning of tomatoes with more salt or balsamic vinegar to taste; break toasted bread into small pieces. To serve, divide tomatoes and bread evenly among 4 plates. Drizzle generously with olive oil, garnish with reserved basil leaves, and add salt and pepper to taste.