Nothing says summer like delicious, juicy, bursting-with-flavor tomatoes. Now that I’m finally starting to see the lovely homegrown tomatoes around here, I couldn’t be more excited to make a simple salad that I’ve been enjoying every summer since I was a little girl: Tomato Salad.
Now you may look at the ingredients and say “but this is too simple, there are no fresh herbs, just a few basic ingredients.” And that, my friends is where the magic of this dish come in. In this salad, the tomatoes are front and center. It’s all about their delicious flavor and the juice that they create. If Grandma Rose were still here today and I even tried to serve Tomato Salad without a nice, fresh loaf of Italian bread to sop up all of that incredible juice, that would be the first thing I’d hear about. And Rosie did not mince words.
Seriously, though. Minimal ingredients built around and highlighting the center of this dish which is the tomatoes. More specifically, their juice. The juice becomes even more delicious when mixed with the minimal seasonings. The tang of the red wine vinegar, the flavor of the onions and the kick from the jalapenos really brings this salad over the top.
I usually make this at least a few hours or the night before serving it so that the flavors really have time to meld together. I periodically go back to the bowl and push down with a spoon on top of the salad to squeeze out more of the juices, just like Grandma did. This is actually a dish that tastes even better a few days later. Rosie would even add more tomatoes to the juice after a day or two to reinvigorate the salad and not waste a drop of that fabulous juice.
Some of my other favorite summer side dishes include:
10 minPrep Time
10 minTotal Time
- 2-3 pounds of tomatoes, cut into small wedges
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 1-2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced
- 1-2 jalapenos (if you don't like spicy foods, feel free to remove the seeds or even leave them out. one jalapeno is usually my go-to. Two makes it really spicy!)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Red wine vinegar
- Combine the tomatoes, onions, cucumbers and jalapenos.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and dress lightly with oil and vinegar. Start really light with these as you can always add more later but in general, you want to put less oil and vinegar on the salad than when you normally dress any other salad (remember, the idea is for the juice to be the center of the dressing, not the vinegar!).
- Allow it to sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour, periodically using a large spoon to lightly press down and squeeze more juice out. Enjoy it with plenty of crusty Italian bread to sop up the juice!
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