August 25, 2011
This is an incredibly simple, quick, yet completely delectable tomato salad. I learned this recipe from my mother who learned it from her mother in Belgium, and it’s been my favorite way to eat fresh, sweet garden tomatoes since I was a child (Oh God, why does that seem like so long ago? Don’t answer that!). You can have it for lunch with a scoop of tuna or serve it as a refreshing first course when you’re entertaining. True confession— I actually had it for breakfast the other day.
Like most of the recipes here at EDG, what makes this tomato salad special is its simplicity and high quality ingredients. There is no substitute for tomatoes chosen fresh from the garden or farmers market along with the best darn olive oil you can find. I order my finishing olive oil from the Rare Wine Company. In general, I’m kind of obsessed with tracking down excellent ingredients (I’m pretty sure I spend more time comparison shopping groceries than I do shoes). For olive oil, Rare Wine Company has, hands down, the best selection I’ve seen worldwide.
To assemble the salad, I slice the Early Girls into wedges (they’re on the smaller side), the Heirlooms into half-circles, and the Cherries into halves to get a range of textures. Together, they create an interesting contrast of shapes, showing off the character of each variety.
This is not a super technical recipe. The amounts vary depending on the size of the plate or platter you are working with and your personal preference. I like to go really light on the vinegar so you can taste the natural flavor of the tomatoes.
A variety of tomatoes (Cherry, Early Girl and Heirloom are the ones I used for my salad pictured above)
A splash of red or white wine vinegar
A drizzle of best quality extra virgin olive oil
A pinch of sea salt
Fresh chives, chopped
Slice the tomatoes (try varying your slicing technique to get more texture in the salad). Arrange the tomatoes on your plate. Splash with red wine vinegar and drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with sea salt and chives. Serve and devour!