Summer Fest Week 4 – Tomato Salad

Charmian-Logo-New-transparent

18 Aug Summer Fest Week 4 – Tomato Salad

IMG_0905.jpg

Tomatoes are a paradoxical plant. Botanically, they’re a fruit — they have their seeds on the inside — but in the kitchen we treat them as vegetables. While their flesh is a staple in many world cuisines, their leaves are toxic enough to poison a small child. Heck, we can’t even agree on how to pronounce their name? Tom-AY-to or tom-AH-to? No matter how you say it, I cannot imagine life without these not-so-deadly nightshades.

In the cold weather, I love tomato in curries, stews, pasta sauces and even soups. But in the summer? I want them fresh and uncooked. There will be plenty of time for soap-textured hot house tomatoes all winter.

To celebrate Summer Fest, I had envisioned making a dish featuring my first-ever batch of homegrown tomatoes. But a cool summer and seemingly endless amounts of rain have pushed the growth cycle back a good two weeks. My plants have produced nothing but little green orbs that I hope will ripen into yellow heirlooms and bright red beefsteaks before the frost hits. Fortunately, the local farmers have more luck with their crops. I bought these vine tomatoes on Saturday.

To end this 4-week celebration, I thought I’d do something simple that kept tomatoes front and centre. There’s nothing fancy or gourmet about this basic salad. The only twist is that I roasted the onions and garlic on the barbecue first. Why? Raw onions give me indigestion and garlic can be pushy, so I cooked them into submission before tossing them into the mix. And with the alliums sitting quietly in the background, the tomatoes shone.

Toss in some lime juice and cilantro (or basil for those who think cilantro tastes like soap) and you’ve got a flavourful salad in minutes.

IMG_0916.jpg

While this is good enough to eat on its own, you can spoon it over a bed of leafy greens and top with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Or chop the tomatoes smaller, add some jalapenos and call it salsa.

To me, this tastes like summer. Fresh, clean and bright.

What’s your favourite way to enjoy summer fresh tomatoes?

IMG_0920.jpg

Two-Coloured Tomato Salad

Printable Recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 medium red onion, chopped and roasted
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced and roasted
  • 3 small red tomatoes, diced
  • 3 small yellow tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tbsp olive or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, minced
  • sea salt to taste
  • pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine the onion and garlic. Wrap in foil and roast on grill or in oven until soft. Allow to cool (you can do this the day before).
  2. Chop tomatoes and toss with onions and garlic.
  3. Drizzle with lime juice and oil. Toss again.
  4. Sprinkle with cilantro.
  5. Season to taste.
  6. Chill until ready to serve.

Related Post

No Comments
  • KJB
    Posted at 11:12h, 18 August Reply

    For me, there are three tomato recipes that I only eat when there are fresh local tomatoes:

    1. raw tomato pasta sauce
    2. sliced tomato and onion salad
    3. baked tomatoes topped with breadcrumbs

    To date, I hate not yet found those perfect summer tomatoes. Coming, but they are not quite there yet.

  • Chef Gwen
    Posted at 11:54h, 18 August Reply

    "Cooked them into submission."

    I LOVE that line. Take that! You assertive onions and garlic, ha!

    I made a simple, last hooray, too, for Summer Fest. An easy, gussied up tomato sandwich:

    http://penandfork.wordpress.com/2009/08/18/heirloom-tomato-napoleon/

  • danamccauley
    Posted at 12:20h, 18 August Reply

    Seasonal tomatoes are so delicious on their own that they really don't need a gourmet treatment to make them taste sensational!

    I've been roasting my tomatoes and using the glistening results as a topper for pasta, to enrich other salads and as a flat bread topping. So good!

  • SteamyKitchen
    Posted at 13:08h, 18 August Reply

    Love it! So colorful and fresh…

  • Cheryl
    Posted at 14:48h, 18 August Reply

    Ah, so lovely. I have 2 neighbors who are both keeping me in tomatoes this summer: one in beefsteaks, one in little golden cherry tomatoes. I can mix them both for your salad.

    Here's my summer fest contribution:

    http://tinyurl.com/okz36s

    Thanks for inviting me to the party.

  • Angelique from Bitchin' Kitchen
    Posted at 17:04h, 18 August Reply

    Hey there! Nice recipe! So colorful and fresh and it looks fantastic. My tomatoes are almost ready – can't wait!!

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 17:19h, 18 August Reply

    take a tomatoe so large one slice covers a piece of bread,
    mayonaise, black pepper, toasted!!oh yeah ( add lettuce and bacon if you have to)

  • The Diva on a Diet
    Posted at 17:35h, 18 August Reply

    As I mentioned on Cheryl's blog today, were in the midst of a tomato blight here in my neck of the woods this year and it is dismal indeed. Haven't had a single good tomato yet this year – not even from the farmer's markets. So sad, since I agree – a salad like this absolutely tastes like summer.

    I think this would be excellent chopped fine and used atop bruschetta as well … which would be one of my favorite ways to enjoy fresh tomatoes. Yum!

  • The Diva on a Diet
    Posted at 17:35h, 18 August Reply

    As I mentioned on Cheryl's blog today, were in the midst of a tomato blight here in my neck of the woods this year and it is dismal indeed. Haven't had a single good tomato yet this year – not even from the farmer's markets. So sad, since I agree – a salad like this absolutely tastes like summer.

    I think this would be excellent chopped fine and used atop bruschetta as well … which would be one of my favorite ways to enjoy fresh tomatoes. Yum!

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 22:52h, 18 August Reply

    Feast for tongue and eyes. Thanks for the idea of substituting basil. This would go great!!! at the corn roast on Friday.
    Cheers.
    Robin

Post A Reply to Anonymous Cancel Reply

Subscribe to my newsletter.

It’s easy. It’s free. It’s informative.

 

Receive weekly tips, recipes and advanced notice of upcoming events.

Yes, please!