There’s nothing like a fresh tomato and this time of year they’re in abundance. This year I grew a variety of tomatoes. In addition to Roma and Jet Star I grew a few heirloom varieties – Black Krim, Cherokee Purple, Green Zebra and Brandywine.
To me the secret to making a fresh tomato salad is to 1) use a variety of tomatoes and 2) salt and pepper the tomatoes for a good 10-15 minutes before putting the salad together.
The other elements of the salad are cheese, fresh herbs and the vinaigrette of your choice. Here’s the basic recipe – feel free to adapt based on what’s in your fridge.
- 2 - 3 pounds fresh tomatoes
- 8 - 12 ounces cheese (fresh mozzarella, feta - even a mound of ricotta is fine)
- Olive oil
- Vinegar (balsamic or red wine)
- A little heat (red pepper flakes, jalapeno - whatever you like)
- Fresh herbs (oregano, basil, chives)
- To make the salad interesting, cut the smaller tomatoes into quarters and slice the larger tomatoes. Place in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. In the meantime, combine one part vinegar with three parts olive oil (for example - ¼ cup vinegar to ¾ olive oil), minced garlic, and some heat. I have lots of jalapenos so I cut one up and add it to the dressing.
- To serve, spoon the tomatoes onto a platter, add cheese, drizzle with the dressing and sprinkle with the herb of your choice (my preference is fresh oregano).