~more recently updated recipes~
WAY BACK IN 2008 Whew! For a week or more now, St. Louisans have been worrying whether the 2008 tomato crop would be worth eating. Perhaps because of a long, damp and cool spring, the early tomatoes were mealy and flavorless. The heirlooms were worse, scaly on the outside with dense pockets of inedible flesh inside.
What a difference some hot summer sunshine makes! These tomatoes from my hometown farmers market were gorgeous, definitely worthy of this oh-so-simple treatment that adds up to way more than the sum of its parts.
There are two tricks here. The first is the effect of soaking thin-sliced onions in ice water for a half hour, releasing the sharpness. The second is letting thin-sliced tomatoes macerate in a little sugar, a little salt, just a splash of olive oil and vinegar, also for 30 minutes.
These tomatoes, tomato lovers, are worth waiting for.
TOMATO & ONION SALAD
Time to table: 45 minutes
1 small onion
1 pound perfect summer tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon sugar (yes, just a little)
Light sprinkling of good salt (I used Maldon)
1 tablespoon good olive oil
1 teaspoon good vinegar
Few leaves fresh mint, sliced in narrow strips (don't skip this)
ONION Slice the onion thin and separate into rings. Soak in ice water for 30 minutes. Lift out and drain on paper towels.
TOMATOES Slice the tomatoes crosswise about 1/4 inch thick, thinness is important! Arrange tomatoes on a serving plate. Sprinkle with sugar and salt. (If arranging in two layers, use half on the first layer, half on the second.) Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar. Let rest for 30 minutes. Top with mint and onion rings, serve immediately.
ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
ONION I don't usually like onion so much but after soaking, these are quite gentle. A small ring on each tomato would not be too much, that's my plan for next time. I don't think you want a whole jumble of onions, however. It might be pretty but it would also be too much onion. This is a salad of restraint ... avoid inclinations for more sugar, more salt, more vinegar, etc.
A HALF TEASPOON SUGAR, REALLY? It makes a difference? It does! And do measure the sugar because it's hard to believe that so little sugar can be evenly sprinkled across such a large surface area.
TIMING is important here! After 30 minutes, the tomatoes are still firm and perfect. After much longer, they become slightly mushy and just not as good.
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MORE TOMATO SALADS: WORTHY OF GOOD SUMMER TOMATOES~ Never Take a Good Tomato for Granted: Twelve Favorite Tomato Recipes ~
~ Old Liz's Old-Fashioned Cucumber & Tomato Salad ~
~ Fattoush (Traditional Middle Eastern Salad) ~
~ Jerusalem Salad ~
~ more tomato recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ Favorite Summer Salad Recipes ~
~ Panzanella ~
~ Fresh Corn & Tomato Salad ~
~ Zucchini Spiral "Noodle" Salad ~
~ more tomato recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column
COOKING IN SEASON: THIS SAME WEEK ACROSS THE YEARSNo-Cook Tabbouleh Eggplant Sandwiches with Cilantro Hummus Summer Orzo with Radicchio Chipotle Chickpea Salad (< reader favorite!) Avocado Salad with Hearts of Palm BLTs with Avocado King Hill Farms Simple & Sublime Beets (< for beet lovers) Amaranth Greens More Matters: The New Fruits & Veggies Campaign Grilled Eggplant with Balsamic Honey Syrup Romano Beans in Butter-Braised Garlic (< watch for romano beans at the farmers market) Seared Radicchio Weight Watchers Italian Zero Points Soup Tomato & Onion Salad Stacked Ratatouille (< totally versatile!) Sautéed Cucumbers How to Cut Corn Off the Cob: Keeping All Ten Fingers, Capturing Every Delicious Kernel and Every Drop of Sweet Corn "Milk" Corn & Cucumber Salad with Fresh Blueberries Succotash Salad with Green Beans, Lima Beans, Corn & Tomatoes Raw Tomatillo Salad with Blueberries (< lovin' this year's blueberries!) Pretty Ways to Serve Summer's Best Tomatoes
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.
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