pounds mixed tomatoes, such as cherry, heirloom, Sungold or beefsteak
Kosher salt and black pepper
bunch cilantro, leaves picked and stalks finely chopped
packed cup fresh basil leaves, preferably Thai
perilla, shiso or mint leaves, finely chopped
scallions, finely sliced
- Start the salad: Cut the tomatoes into different shapes — this creates different textures and visual interest — and place them in a colander. Sprinkle with a big pinch of salt, and set in the sink to drain as you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Place a strainer over a heatproof bowl. Line a baking sheet or large plate with paper towels.
- Prepare the fried shallots: Add the oil and shallots to a medium saucepan, and place over low heat. Bring the oil to a simmer, stirring the shallots with a fork to separate the rings. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until the shallots are light golden brown, watching them closely, as they will brown quickly toward the end of their cooking. (Don’t let the shallots brown too much, as they will continue to cook after you take them out of the oil.)
- Remove the shallots to the strainer to drain, then transfer them to the paper towels. Season with salt and allow to cool. Reserve the oil. Shallots can be fried 5 days ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
- Prepare the dressing: Whisk together all the ingredients.
- Assemble the salad: Combine the tomatoes, two-thirds of the herbs and scallions, and half the dressing. Season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. To finish, top with the remaining dressing, a drizzle of the shallot cooking oil and the rest of the herbs and scallions, then finally with the fried shallots. (Reserve remaining shallot oil for other uses, like vinaigrettes, stir-fries and soups.)