Friday, May 20, 2011

Marinated Tomato Salad

This is my mother's recipe for Marinated Tomato Salad.

My mother makes this a lot during the summer months when there's an overabundance of fresh tomatoes.

It's a family favorite, to say the least.

The secret to making a great marinated tomato salad is in the tomatoes.

Homegrown tomatoes are the best, but I was craving this salad and found some good tomatoes yesterday at Trader Joe's.

Doesn't that yellow heirloom tomato look delicious?!

This salad is all about the little bits of vegetables.

We use our favorite bottled vinaigrette dressing, mine of the moment is Trader Joe's Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Here's how you make the salad:

My mother always said there's a combination of seven different vegetables to make this salad.

Green pepper, red pepper, green onion, red onion, sweet onion, cilantro, jalapeño and parsley.


That's eight.

Basil makes nine.

The point is--any combination of vegetables will do--whatever ones you like!

Start with two cloves of chopped garlic.

Sprinkle a little bit of coarse salt on the garlic.

By using the flat part of your knife, mash the garlic.

The salt will act as an abrasive on the garlic.

Gather up the mashed garlic and put it in a medium-sized bowl.

Add your favorite vinaigrette salad dressing to the bowl, too.

I used the whole bottle since I have a lot of tomatoes. 

I used only 1/2 of a large jalapeño pepper, removing the seeds and veins.

Be careful when handling hot chiles, it's best to wear kitchen gloves, the juice can sting your skin if you're sensitive.

These jalapeño peppers are hot. 

The fumes alone--as I was cutting into it--were really strong.

But they're good.

I try to dice the jalapeños up as small as I can.

Add them to the dressing.

Chop up 1/2 bunch of cilantro, 4 green onions, 1/4 red and green peppers, 1/2 red and sweet onion.

After chopping up the vegetables pretty small, my mother goes through the veggies again with her knife, chopping them smaller.

I do that too.

That's how I was taught.

You can pulse them in the food processor, but be careful you don't over-process them.

Add them to the dressing.

These are the tomatoes I used.

I think the Kumato tomatoes were the best of this bunch.

When I opened the package, the smell of the Kumato's was heavenly.

They definitely had the most flavor.

My mother always blanches the tomatoes and takes the skin off.

In the summer, homegrown tomatoes have a really thick, tough skin.

Immerse the tomatoes into boiling water for just a few seconds and the skins will slip right off.

If you make a little criss-cross with your knife on the bottom of the tomatoes, it will help you to know when they're ready--the edges of the cuts will curl.

I didn't do that, but it works.

Take a small knife and take the core out of the top of the tomato, then the skin should slip right off.

Even the really big ones need only 15 seconds or so in the boiling water.

After you've got them all cored and peeled, slice them up.

My mother always slices them into tomato steaks and layers them in a casserole dish, then spreads the dressing on top.

I like to add a little basil chiffonade to the top.

I slided the large Kumato into smaller pieces.

The yellow heirloom tomato, too.




My friend Sue is over the moon these days.

Her granddaughter is visiting!

Her son and daughter-in-law, too, of course.

Here's Sue with her two sons and granddaughter.

Sue is a FOODjimoto guest blogger and made Caramel Corn and German Chocolate Cake.

Miss P's a cutie!

I just babies and all their different expressions.

Look at those baby blues!

My heart melts, too.

She likes to play jumpyjumpyjumpy with Grandpa.

Great-Grandma is fun.

Sue says she's like Lucy.

As in I Love Lucy.

But when Miss P gets fussy, only Mama will do.


Marinated Tomato Salad

Vine-ripened tomatoes are the key to this delicious salad--to tell if they're good--they should have a strong tomato aroma.


vinaigrette salad dressing

1/2 medium red onion & sweet onion
4 green onions
1/2 bunch cilantro
1/2 jalapeño pepper
1/4 red pepper and green pepper
2 cloves garlic
parsley and basil

A combination of any or all works well.

Mince all ingredients and combine with salad dressing.

Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for a few seconds and remove the core and skin. Slice into 1/2-inch slices and layer tomatoes into casserole dish, topping each layer with dressing mixture.

Marinate for two hours or overnight in the refrigerator.