We don't have cable, and I don't do a whole lot of internet searching that is not food related, so a lot of news passes me by. It may lead me to be a bit out of touch, naive concerning political matters, and over reliant on my twitter feed to update me on breaking headlines, but it has worked for us. I want to believe that we are capable of being good to each other, and too much news convinces me otherwise. From world wide issues over politics, money and religion, to the tragic shooting in Colorado, or something right under your nose like a stranger stealing your stuff, I am completely dismayed that people want to harm other people... people they don't even know. Hugh and I chatted in circles, not understanding this motivation. It can be overwhelming, fear-inducing really, to think of the sadness and hurt, all the "bad things that happen to good people," and how I feel the only way to encourage other's to be good to people, is to be good to them yourself. Ironic how that conversation led me in to the topic of today's post about treatment and wages on our tomato fields in America. Tomato fields in Florida have been quoted as being "ground zero" for modern day slavery. It all starts somewhere doesn't it? Today we are making noise for change and standing up for slave free tomatoes

This summer, International Justice Mission has partnered with The Coalition of Immokalee Workers and The Fair Food Standards Council (FFSC) to create Recipe for Change, a campaign to raise awareness about injustices in U.S. tomato fields. The goal is to create a zero tolerance policy for slavery, child labor and sexual abuse. Through both of these organizations and consumers like us, we want to ask the CEOs of major supermarket chains to endorse the Fair Food Program, ensuring the tomatoes you buy are slave-freeCorporations that join the Fair Food Program agree to pay a small price increase for fairly harvested tomatoes (1.5cents per pound) and promise to shift purchases to the Florida tomato growers who abide by these standards and away from those who don't. The locations that support slave-free tomatoes are Trader Joes, Whole Foods, Farmers Markets and CSA programs. 

Spreading the word is the first step to educating people about this problem. If you feel called to action, you can send a letter using this link to contribute to the voice that is trying to make a change. Support the cause by purchasing tomatoes from the slave-free locations mentioned above. 


Inspired by Big Sur Bakery Cookbook

Take note of the size of your burrata balls, you may need two. I assume about 4 oz. per person. This salad is very free form, don't pay too close attention to measurements. It's a summertime salad, it's meant to be easy going. 


1 cup torn bread (preferably from a baguette or fresh loaf)

2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

1/2 sea salt

fresh ground pepper


1 1/2 lbs/ 4-ish heirloom tomatoes

sea salt + fresh ground pepper

2 cups soft lettuce of choice (arugula, spring greens, butter lettuce)

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

1 shallot, finely chopped

8 oz. burrata cheese, room temperature

good quality extra virgin olive oil

balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven (ideally toaster oven) to 400'. Spread the torn bread on a baking tray, drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Bake for 10 minutes or until the edges are crisp and brown. Set aside. 

Slice the tomatoes into 1/4'' slices and arrange them on your serving tray in concentric circles. Sprinkle liberally with sea salt and fresh ground pepper and the chopped shallots. Chop the soft greens and basil together, toss them gently with 1 tsp. each olive oil and balsamic vinegar and then mound it in the center of the tomatoes. Distribute the croutons on top and then place the burrata in the center of the lettuce pile, breaking open the creamy center if you'd like. 

Drizzle the burrata with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste and finish with a sprinkle of salt and fresh ground pepper. 

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Reader Comments (49)

I hope that by spreading the word, we can get people to think more about where their food comes from and how it's produced (and harvested). So many people think that tomatoes just magically appear at the grocery store. But the unfortunate reality is that a lot of hard work is being done and those workers are not being treated properly. Thank you for helping to spread this important message.

Thank you for sharing the info. Also, the recipe looks incredible, I adore burrata.

July 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAhu

Simply gorgeous, Sara. So glad you're part of the movement today!

Thank you for the always beautiful recipe and photos and extremely important information about tomatoes. Definitely will be passing it along. The 2 top tomato photos need to be framed!

July 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

good to know about this- thanks for the awareness.

July 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSimply Life

Thank you for sharing information about the tomato growing/harvesting issues. So important for me to remember that I'm only one, but I can make a difference. As always, beautiful images.

July 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJanae @ Bring-Joy

My favorite food combination on the planet! This tomato season makes me one happy lady, thank you for the beautiful recipe and inspiration for my next summer's night emal.

July 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBecca @ The Dabblist

I wait all year long to enjoy dishes like this. This is all the more reason why we should be getting to know local farmers at neighborhood markets and supporting small businesses. Thank you for enlightening us.

Well done. Love the cause. Love the photos. Love the recipes. I will spread the word, starting on Facebook, !

July 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDena

I've been caught up in the same circles of discussion before. It's hard to fathom why anyone would be motivated by anything other than the greater good in this life, but the tendency to go the other way is always lurking around. What's worse is losing yourself in those thoughts, those overwhelming thoughts, and not knowing what to do next. But this, participating in this amazing event is something, a big something. It is pure in its goodness and it is a step forward, all together. Big ups and big hugs to you, lady.

July 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

It's been circles here, too; mostly in my mind. I've been completely overwhelmed by the news the last few days - I try to avoid it, really, but it's been impossible. Life always leaves us with so many unanswerable questions.

This post is beautiful. The first four pictures are so simple and lovely. Reminds me that life can be, too.

July 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersarah

This is a beauty! And so simple. Love it!

Thank you for raising awareness about such an important and overlooked issue! I think it's pretty heartbreaking what conditions those who pick our tomatoes sometimes face, and I definitely want no part in supporting cruelty.

On a lighter note, the salad looks like a fresh and perfectly indulgent summertime staple. Love the tomato pics as well--gorgeous!

July 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShila

to Sara and Hugh: thank you SO much for bringing this to my attention! Fortunately, we have a great co-op and lots of farmer's markets/csa's around here which means ORGANIC pretty much year round out here in California...BUT I will never be tempted again to purchase a tomato in any of the other supermarkets just because I happen to be shopping there. (Which is rare...but it does happen). I'm a real snob when it comes to organic produce. But now that I am educated with this info, I will let others know AND ask the produce managers to please carry slave free tomatoes! Until then, I will only buy tomatoes where I am sure there was no "inhumanity to man" involved. Best wishes! The recipe is on the menu for tonite...yummm...

July 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenternickie

Here, here! Great post. It's a crying shame the higher-ups continue to pull this B.S. (and i know, it's not all, just a select some) Our farm & garden grown food (animals as well as plants) should be raised chemical, hormone, torture and slave free...
Buratta, the heavenly, "buttered" persona of mozzarella. This looks fantastic and Hugh sure knows how to make those meaty tomatoes look beautiful!

July 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermaggie

I've been eating something so similar lately, minus the greens. Splurging on gorgeous market tomatoes is one thing we can feel good about, right? Lovely, lovely pics.

July 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterautumn

YUM! Reminds me of the 'marinated mozzarella' dish Lottie + Doof posted recently. Looks like I'll have to try this one too!!

July 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterColleen

Utterly divine - this is my idea of salad heaven. I love things like that which rely on nothing more than simply combining utterly perfect ingredients. Unfortunately, we can't get burrata here in New Zealand, but we can get passable buffalo mozzarella.

I had no idea about the tomato picking industry in America - thankfully it's not quite like that in New Zealand, though I still try as much as possible to purchase from local growers at my farmers market, and also try to grow some myself.

I love IJM - and hooray for no cable! So nice to be disconnected in some regards. I definitely don't miss commercials :) Nice seeing you tonight. Love these photos.

Nook & Sea

July 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKristina Gulino

Sara - beautiful post and sentiment. I, too, do not have cable and feel thankful for the calm and quiet its absense brings to our lives.

I had a salad like this in Washington DC at Birch and Barley a few years ago and I still think of it when great tomatoes are available at the market. Heaven on a plate. ;)

July 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJess

so simple. yet so good. divine!

July 25, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterleetal

Beautiful post and such a great cause! Thanks for supporting such a meaningful organization and bringing awareness to this issue. Also, this salad look delicious. Tomatoes and burrata is such a great combination and I love the addition of greens, croutons and shallots.

July 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

I think we all struggle to understand the reasons that people do bad things. The reasons some people are bad people. But I agree, fighting back and taking a stand has to start somewhere. Gorgeous recipe and beautiful words, Sara.

July 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKasey

Simple beauty, I love this salad!

July 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLaura (Tutti Dolci)

An absolutely perfect summertime salad -- so fresh and light. I love this!

July 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatie @ Oh Shine On

Your salad makes me wanna smile. And the tomatoe picture is simply beautiful.

July 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarta

Seriously gorgeous salad. Love summer tomatoes!

What a gorgeous salad! I can't get enough of our local heirloom tomatoes these days - and what a beautiful post!

July 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy

You two are such a dynamic pair. This is gorgeous on all fronts.

July 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKimberley

Thank you for this post. Very informative and highlights the issues that are plaguing every country worldwide. It does boil down to 'the golden rule' doesn't it? so simple yet it's gotten so far far away. On another note, beautiful photos & recipe as always. Our tomatoes in the garden are starting to ripen just in time for this one! And P.S. - Yay for no cable! We're right with you on that one :)

July 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterYumi

I like to think that I'm pretty up on slavery issues, but clearly I was wrong because I had no idea about the tomatoes!!!! Thank you for bringing this issue to light. It's so important to use our every day purchases to make change. And the salad looks delicious! Well done yet again. :)

July 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCourtney

I've been on a Burrata kick for most of the Spring and Summer and really can't imagine NOT having garden fresh tomato with it. It seems like a heavenly match. This is almost like a deconstructed Panzanella, with that added creamy cheese creating perfection. I can't wait to plate up something like this and dig in. Gorgeous stuff

July 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate

Sadly, I've known about the condition of tomato fields for a few years now. I'm very conscious about checking the labels of the tomatoes I get - and if they don't have a label, I don't take the chance. Of course, it's best when I can get them from our co-op or CSA!

Thanks for helping to spread the news.

July 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte

Like your post, it looks verry easy, I will have a try on my own hands!

August 1, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbennysmith

Thank you for this post. I am newly educated on this matter and it's good to know there is an initiative for change.
I LOVE tomatoes and this burrata salad is making me drool! I am going dairy free for 6 weeks so it will have to wait.

August 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

I'm late to reply here, but man those tomato photos look so juicy and beautiful! I want to eat this salad all summer long.

August 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJeanine

Your tomatoes (& salad!) are making me drool....!

Love your entire gorgeous site & am linking back to it from my own :) See you again! xo

August 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

You photographs make me want to escape to the country and eat burrata all day in the sunshine.

August 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDorie Colangelo

Yes please...looks so amazing. I'm super picky about tomatoes, but these look divine.

August 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBohemian Kate

So simple yet so freaking delicious. I am making this tonight!!!

August 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbethany

What an awesome recipe! I like this salad recipe very much Please share some more new recipes like this.

When I was in Naples in July I had the best Mozzarella di Bufala and the best Burrata of my life. They were soooo good I almost wept!
I wish I could use that burrata to make this amazing recipe...

August 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMike

Thank you for posting this and for helping bring awareness to a very real, very scary issue. And thank you as well for this gorgeous salad recipe! I made this last night with a variety of beautiful tomatoes from the farmer's market here in Santa Fe, NM. I'd never actually used burrata and was thrilled to discover that it wasn't difficult to find! I used arugula and tossed the hot croutons in a bit of grated parmesan as soon as they came out of the oven-- so good! Will make this again and again until tomato season is over. Thank you!

August 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

I recently stumbled upon your blog and am so happy to have another beautiful resource for delicious and healthy food. I read your post on the tomato industry and the importance of buying fair trade, local is if possible, tomatoes and I commend you for voicing this concern. From first glance it seems to me you are vary passionate about where our food comes from and at what cost, as well as what it is we choose to put into our bodies.

I noticed yesterday while browsing your site that on the right side I kept seeing advertisement for Old El Paso Taco products. To me this seemed to fall out of alignment with the perception I was getting from your blog. Maybe you were unaware but Old El Paso is owned by Betty Crocker which is one of the many big brands that use Monsanto products. Although you may not watch the news often I am sure being involved with the SLO food movement has informed you enough about the destruction Monsanto is doing to food products, crops, individual farmers and communities across the globe.

I commend your activism and think it would be even more so powerful if reflected in the companies you choose to gain profits from allowing to advertize on your site.

August 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

Your blog has so many delicious recipes I could stay here for days.
You are obviously very dedicated.
Thank you very much for your help!

March 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBob

Adding salad in almost every day in your diet can pay off plenty of health benefits. I and my family just love salad and we always include in our regular diet. I have tried making different salads but I haven’t tried tomato and burrata salad. I think that after reading your post, I can try making this for my family. Thanks for sharing.

April 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTroy Hale

Mmm, this looks delicious and so pretty! Wonder if you’d be interested in posting it on Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #SaladWars. Florette are giving away some fab foodie prizes at the moment and I’m pretty sure your salad is worth a prize! More details on

June 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

One of my most favorite, beautiful,simple and delicious go to app or even a meal in itself! Delicioso!

March 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLacey Ross

I want to try your SIMPLE TOMATO + BURRATA SALAD this weekend, it looks absolutely incredible and super cute! . I think my boyfriend John love this! I like also your other healthy recipes for diet. Definitely I will add this to my to-make list! Thanks for your awesome recipes. Good job friend! Keep updating through your cookbook. Nice post indeed!

May 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterTarin Lindsey

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