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Great summer tomato salad

I have made this for quite a while, and guests always rave about it and ask for the recipe, which is pretty strange as it is so obvious as to what it is, but here it is:
Cut a pkg. of grape tomatoes in half ( so they don't "explode"), chop up some Vidalia onion, add some chopped kalamata, a little container of gorgonzola crumbles, and lots of fresh parsley. Dress lightly with balsamic vinaigrette and some black pepper. Pretty darn good.

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  1. It is a good salad. Just ripe tomatoes and onions are a summer fave, except I use red onions. Using feta in the above recipe is also great.

    1. hey, i just made that salad the other day -- but no cheese (or olives because i couldn't find the kalamatas) and with a diced yellow bell pepper and some cukes, too. red wine vinaigrette with fresh oregano and some garlic. you can't bet the fresh taste. if you omit the cheese and olives (as i happened to do on this occasion), then you can whir it up in the blender the next day with some v-8 juice and have a terrific gazpacho.

      3 Replies
      1. re: alkapal

        LOL! alka, you know i love you, but your reply reminded me of those recipe reviews on sites like epi & FN where they've made so many substitutions that it doesn't even resemble the original dish anymore ;)

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          well, ghg, i love you too. i must say, however, that tomatoes, onions and parsley in a vinaigrette form the great volume of either dish (tomatoes being the major component). i'd bet that the amount of kalamatas and cheese is just a salty and textural accent. so….my adding cukes and red bell pepper made it not recognizable? those are relatively neutral or tending to vegetal/sweet flavors that don't take the flavor profile in any different direction. to me, it is just "summer" in a bowl. this kind of salad -- either steakman's or my version -- is flexible on the periphery; it is all about the tomatoes and proportion... and salt. ;-).

          i like the olives and gorgonzola, for sure, but if i'm probably going to have leftover salad, as i said, i don't want those in my gazpacho. the "problem" or rather "characteristic" of this salad is that the tomatoes begin to head down that broad highway from the hamlet of firmness to the metropolis of mushiness as soon as salt is introduced. that is a good thing (for flavor melding), and then eventually becomes a bad thing, depending on your timing.

          one of the benefits of having the cuke and bell pepper in with the tomatoes, onion and parsley is that they keep some "crunch" in the salad for a bit longer.

          1. re: alkapal

            oh i hope i didn't offend you!

            the original was tomato, onion, olives, gorgonzola, parsley & balsamic, whereas yours was tomato & onion, *hold* the olives & cheese, *add* cucumber, peppers & oregano, and *sub* red wine vinegar for balsamic.

            yours sounds truly delicious and i love pretty much any variation of tomato salad, i just had a chuckle when you said that you made "that salad" because there are so many differences between the two. each tasty in its own right...just not the "same" salad. that's all i was saying!

      2. Trick I just learned a year or so back with raw onion in salads is to salt the slices lightly and put them in a bowl, and cover with cold water for half an hour or so. You get a good sweet onion flavor without the bite.

        My favorite tomato salad was the simple Salade de Tomates the cook at a family place in Burgundy made, which was simply good ripe tomatoes (they had a gorgeous garden!) sliced thick and then cut crosswise into big chunks, tossed with salt and pepper and oil and left at room temp for maybe an hour, then splashed with a little vinegar (lemon is good too) before serving. Just that is good enough to eat every day, but of course anything from those onions to shredded basil to crumbles of feta or blue cheese (or queso fresco!) will send it off in new directions.

        You know, as I get older (and I guess more "Californicated") summer cooking is becoming as interesting to me as winter cooking always was …

        1. Swap out the gorgonzola for feta or chevre, leave out the olives, and add some watermelon to change it up and still get raves. Keep the parsley, but add some mint leaves too, if you have a few.

          1. I will put these on file for when there are summer tomatoes, thanks!

            1. I keep it much simpler. Sliced, perfectly ripe tomatoes topped with a vinaigrette of finely diced shallots, lemon juice, a splash of balsamic, olive oil and plenty of salt and pepper. Layer the tomatoes in a dish, cover liberally with the vinaigrette (I prefer a 3:1 ratio of oil to acid) and let sit at room temp for at least 1/2 hour. I did this on a couple occasions last summer with beautiful heirloom tomatoes and it was luscious.

              3 Replies
              1. re: agoodbite

                i think it is important to let the tomatoes sit within the vinaigrette for a short bit, too -- salt on the tomatoes or in the vinaigrette itself helps the tomatoes release some of their juice. the downside is that this can make them mushy if they are "riper" tomatoes.

                1. re: agoodbite

                  My husband goes even simpler. Sliced tomatoes, olive oil and salt--it's a different dish without the pepper--served with toasted bread rubbed with garlic and sprinkled with salt. Only works with the best summer tomatoes.

                  1. re: escondido123

                    Same but I add some fresh basil. And yes, only with those yummy August tomatoes!

                2. i'll try making this one since there are lots of tomatoes here..

                  1. I often do something halfway between the OP's and alkapal's: Thin sliced cukes and fresh tomatoes that have never been chilled (nothing beats ones that are still warm from the sun!) with chopped onion, a little minced red bell pepper, and a crumble of feta, dressed with good oil, balsamic (or sometimes julienne Gruyere instead of feta, wine vinegar and a pinch of sugar or Cheddar, cider vinegar and a dash of honey). A touch of fresh herb - oregano, thyme or dill- and salt & pepper.

                    With some good crusty bread I could make a meal of it on a hot summer day.

                    1. My favourite is also dead simple: 2-3 big ripe toms, cut into cubes, tossed with 2 Ts olive oil, 1 T fresh lemon juice and a good dose of fresh chopped tarragon (dried will do in a pinch).

                      Toss well. Allow to sit until juices pool in bottom of bowl (anything from 1/2 hour to all day).

                      Then add 1/2 cup of cubed French stick (it is better if it slightly stale but not essential). Toss and allow to rest for 10 minutes, season with salt and fresh ground pepper and serve.