heirloom tomato shortcakes

Global Aviation’s catering department uses flavorful, seasonal heirloom tomatoes for tomato shortcakes

Oregon tomato season is in full swing and there is nothing that compares to the burst of flavor from an heirloom tomato fresh from the garden or a local Farmer’s Market.

Global Aviation Executive Chef, Elaine Frances, is sharing one of her favorite ways to enjoy these tomato varieties that have been diligently passed down from gardener to gardener. Heirloom Tomato Shortcakes* feature handmade Chive Biscuits and impossibly creamy burrata cheese.

“Our catering clients love and frequently request our flaky buttermilk biscuits with chives,” said Frances. “Pairing the biscuits with seasonal tomatoes and burrata cheese creates a must-have late summer treat.”

burrata cheese in a recipe from Global Aviation

Use burrata cheese as a creamy soft step up from mozzarella to compliment heirloom tomatoes

Newcomers to burrata cheese will find it in the deli cheese section at most fine grocery stores. It is often next to the mozzarella. Burrata takes mozzarella one step further – it has been formed into a pouch and then filled with soft, stringy curd and cream, giving it an unusual, soft texture.

Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits with Chives

Ingredients List

– 2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional flour for work surface
– 1 Tbsp baking powder
– ½ tsp baking soda
– 1 tsp table salt
– 2 Tbsp non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening, cut into ½ -inch chunks
– 8 Tbsp unsalted butter (1 stick), chilled, lightly floured and cut into 1/8 inch slices
– 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
– 1 ¼ cups low-fat buttermilk, cold
– 2 Tbsp finely chopped chives


Step One: Place oven rack to lower-middle position; Preheat oven to 450°F. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl.

Step Two: Add shortening to flour mixture; break up chunks with fingertips until only small, pea-sized pieces remain. Working in batches, drop butter slices into flour mixture and toss to coat; pick up each slice of butter and press between floured fingertips into flat, nickel-sized pieces. Repeat until all butter is incorporated; toss to combine. Freeze mixture (in bowl) until chilled, about 15 minutes.

Step Three: Sprinkle a counter with 1/3 cup of flour. Add ½ of the chives to the flour mixture. Mix well. Add all but 2 Tbsp of buttermilk to flour mixture; stir briskly with fork until ball forms and no dry bits of flour are visible, adding remaining buttermilk as needed (dough will be sticky but should clear sides of bowl). With rubber spatula, transfer dough onto center of prepared work surface, dust surface lightly with flour, and, with floured hands, bring dough together into cohesive ball.

Step Four: Pat dough into an approximate 10 inch square; roll into 18×14 inch rectangle about ¼ inch thick, dusting dough and rolling pin with flour as needed. Using bench scraper or thin metal spatula, fold dough into thirds, brushing any excess flour from surface; lift short end of dough and fold in thirds again to form approximate 6×4-inch rectangle. Rotate dough 90 degrees, dusting work surface underneath with flour; roll and fold dough again, dusting with flour as needed.

Step Five: Roll dough into 10-inch square about ½ inch thick; flip dough and cut nine 3-inch rounds with floured biscuit cutter, dipping cutter back into flour after each cut. Carefully invert and transfer rounds to ungreased baking sheet, spaced 1 inch apart. Gather dough scraps into ball; roll and fold once or twice until scraps form smooth dough. Roll dough into ½ inch thick round; cut three more 3 inch rounds and transfer to baking sheet. Discard excess dough.

Step Six: Brush biscuit tops with melted butter and sprinkle with remaining chives. Freeze biscuits for 15 minutes. Bake biscuits, without opening oven door, until tops are golden brown and crisp, 15 to 17 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

– Recipe adapted from CooksIllustrated.com

Heirloom Tomato Salad

Ingredient List

– Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
– 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
– ¼ tsp salt
– pinch of sugar
– freshly ground black pepper to taste
– 1.5 lbs heirloom tomatoes (your choice), cores removed, cut into 1” chunks (save juices)


One Step: Mix all ingredients including the saved tomato juices. Set salad aside for 15 minutes to marinate. Taste salad and adjust to your taste.

Burrata Cheese

Ingredients List

– (4) four ounce globes of Burrata cheese at room temperature


One step: Cut cheese globes in half right before serving

Assembly of Heirloom Tomato Shortcakes

To assemble the shortcakes, split each warm biscuit in half. Generously spoon the bottom half with the tomato salad and its dressing. Top the tomatoes with ½ a Burrata cheese ball and add the biscuit top.

*Inspired by the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

Read more from Global Aviation’s August 2015 Newsletter…

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