Saturday, August 11, 2012

Summer Tomato Salad

If you are tired of the good old lettuce/tomato/red onion salad on your dinner table, here is a good (and super easy) alternative. I call it my Summer Salad and it is a French-Italian fusion.
Typically Italians would only use Oregano in this salad and maybe add water to the dressing. I use Fennel and French Tarragon to mine, no water!

This year we have planted 6 Tomato plants, one of each variety, just for contrast and compare purposes and I have to say that some varieties will not grow in my yard again: Jersey Big Boy for instance takes a lot of room but yields very little. At best we have 6 ginormous tomatoes out of this plant. The Cherry 100 are still a reliable plant for us, we've been picking cherry tomatoes daily since mid July. The Roma for some reason have a parasite which rots the bottom of each one, only a few were spared. The Grape, Vine and Steak varieties are OK thus far.
So here is our tomato harvest as of August week 1:



This sorry looking cucumber is a fridge find!
 I figured I might as well use it!




Here are the ingredients for my Summer Tomato Salad:





  • Tomatoes - all sizes and varieties
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 1 whole garlic
  • Fresh herbs:  Fennel, French Tarragon, Chives and Basil
  • Olive Oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Lemon Juice
  • Salt and Pepper




STEP ONE:

Slice at least 5 Garlic cloves as thin as you may like. We enjoy Garlic in our home and are not afraid of using it. You may notice that I am not giving measurement for this salad because everything is really "to your taste".

Chop the fresh herbs and combine with the Garlic.




STEP TWO:

In a large bowl, combine the Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, Lemon Juice, Salt and Pepper (again, all to taste) and mix well. The more you mix the dressing the more it will emulsify (get creamier), if you have a small whisk (the kind used by Bartenders) now is the time to use it.
This is what my dressing looks like once it is slightly mixed:




Combine the dressing with the Garlic and Herb mix.



STEP THREE:

Slice the Cucumber and tomatoes, whatever size you prefer - we like to keep the Cherry Tomatoes whole but you could slice them in half as well.
Add all your "veggies" to the dressing and mix well. Cover and keep cool in the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving.







And here is the final result!




There are many ways you can serve this Summer Salad:

  • As a side dish in a ramekin directly placed on a plate or on the side
  • As a Bruccetta Dressing (ingredients would need to be sliced thinner)
  • As the base for a larger salad
  • As a sandwich garnish - just add Mozzarella.
The possibilities are endless - this is a very simple, very refreshing salad which uses only "in season" ingredients. And if you have a basic garden, you would have most of these ingredients on hand already.

I hope you enjoy this recipe.

As always, I value comments and feedback from My Great Challenge fans and readers. If you have not joined us on Facebook yet, remember to "like" and "share" MGC's Facebook page with your friends!

Thank you all!

1 comment:

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