Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fresh Tomato and Red Onion Salad

Do yourself a big favor. Go to the nearest farmers' market or roadside stand and buy the most beautiful tomato you can find. Slice it up, drizzle some oil and vinegar on top, and sit down. Stop everything else you're doing right now and let yourself enjoy the flavor. It is summertime: the perfect time for tomatoes.

Sure, you can buy beefsteak or vine ripe tomatoes from the store, but you would be doing a huge disservice to your palate. Talk to the farmers - ask about their favorites. The tomato I bought today was absolutely gorgeous. It was a deep red, bordering on purple, with a crown of green. The farmer told me that it was the perfect time to eat them. He said, "You will never taste a better tomato in your life." In a world of over-exaggerated statements, this one was 100% accurate.

I love the simplicity of this salad, as well as its flexible nature. Feel free to try it with different tomatoes, different vinegars, additions, or even caramelizing the onions to create a sweet / salty combination.

Ingredients (serves 2)
  • 1 large heirloom tomato, cut into wedges (room temperature is best)
  • sliver of red onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • drizzle of balsamic vinegar
  • freshly ground pepper
  1. Arrange tomatoes on a plate. Sprinkle onion around them.
  2. Dress with a drizzle each of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  3. Top with freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Enjoy!


  1. AE,
    There is nothing like a still warm, right-from-the-garden summer tomato. I agree with your "room temperature is best" note in your recipe. Bob's step-mother, Florence, was a farmer's daughter and an excellent cook. She NEVER put tomatoes in the fridge. Like bananas, she felt chilling ruined them. I follow her example.

  2. I completely agree. In my experience, chilling tomatoes rids them of that subtle sweetness that makes them so good!