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Our family has been lucky to live in the San Francisco Bay Area where we have a thriving farmer's market scene and lots of fresh, organic food yearlong. We also have Alice Waters, a chef, author, food activist, and founder of the famous restaurant, Chez Panisse. My cousins were lucky enough to be a part of her Edible Schoolyard Project at King Elementary School where a garden literally is a classroom.


We thought we'd start our community cookbook with one of our favorite Alice Waters recipes and invite you to share yours.

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When you have the best and tastiest ingredients, you can cook very simply and the food will be extraordinary because it tastes like what it is."

- Alice Waters, The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution

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Want to know about the food you eat? Check out PBS's True Food with Nicole Cotroneo Jolly

Heirloom & Cherry Tomato Salad


Yield: serves 4

Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 Medium shallot, finely diced (¼ cup)

  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar, plus more as needed

  • 1 medium garlic clove, finely minced (1 tsp.)

  • Kosher salt

  • ½ Cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 Cup mixed cherry and grape tomatoes, halved

  • 2 Lb. mixed heirloom tomatoes, cored and cut into chunky 1-inch pieces or ½-inch slices

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • Green and purple basil leaves, torn into small pieces

  • ½ Cup thinly sliced lemon cucumbers or Persian cucumbers (optional)

  • ½ Cup thinly sliced torpedo onions or Vidalia onions (optional)


  1. Make the vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, add the shallot, vinegar, and garlic. Season lightly with salt, then toss to coat. Slowly whisk in the oil to combine, then taste and adjust the seasoning with more vinegar or salt as needed.

  2. Arrange the tomatoes, and cucumbers and onions, if using, in a shallow salad bowl or on a platter. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with basil, drizzle with vinaigrette, and serve immediately.

Adapted from Chez Panisse Café Cookbook by Alice Waters (HarperCollins) © 1999

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