Summer Styled Shoot: Heirloom Tomatoes

If you have a garden at home, you're likely inundated with tomatoes right now. Perfect timing! Today on Swooned you'll get to see the whole spread for the Heirloom Tomato photo shoot I styled and conceptualized a few weeks ago. I give you lots of visual inspiration of what you can do with your tomato bounty including one of my favorites: the gazpacho shooters with balsamic vinegar caviar beads. Here's your menu for the perfect bridal shower brunch or light summer lunch, so start plotting:

  • Citrus and Herb Salt dipped cherry tomatoes: be creative! Zest lemons, chop rosemary, and obviously you need a good bread.
  • Raw zucchini ribbon noodles with roasted tomatoes and mozzarella pearls: serve this with a quick balsamic dressing.
  • Gazpacho shooters with balsamic vinegar 'caviar'
  • Tomato tart with goat cheese: for a quick crust, do it over cornbread.
  • Candied skewered tomatoes: for a fun dessert, all you need is a surprising sugar shell! 

All photos by Abby Jiu 

Summer Styled Shoot: Heirloom Tomatoes
Summer Styled Shoot: Heirloom Tomatoes
Summer Styled Shoot: Heirloom Tomatoes
Summer Styled Shoot: Heirloom Tomatoes- 'caviar' basalmic beads 
Summer Styled Shoot: Heirloom Tomatoes

Balsamic Vinegar 'Caviar' Beads


Recipe from Molecular Recipes, Directions simplified

 /// Ingredients ///

  • 100 g Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1.5 g Agar Agar Powder
  • 1 cup of olive oil, cold from being in the freezer for at least 30 min

/// Directions /// 

Pour olive oil in a tall tumbler and place in the freezer for at least half an hour. I used a Tervis Tumbler and that was the perfect size. Avoid using short glasses which will cause the 'caviar' to flatten upon impact when dropped into the oil.

Weigh balsamic vinegar and agar agar powder. Add to a small saucepan and whisk together. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and wait 3-5 minutes for the temperature to cool. Add the balsamic mixture to a dropper or squeeze bottle. The containers restaurants use to add oil or puree garnishes to plates or to serve condiments work exceptionally well. Drop by drop, slowly squeeze beads of balsamic above the glass and allow them to settle to the bottom, retaining their spherical shape. Test how high you need to begin your drops to form the correct shape. Too high means the sphere breaks into tiny beads and too low means you get a flattened blob. 

After you've piped several caviar beads into the oil, remove using a slotted spoon, rinse in water and store in a sealed container in the fridge. 

Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.