Yes, before you start sending messages or email, let me tell you that I know there are plenty of tomato-haters in this world. Even I, who loves anything tomato (and yes, red and orange are my favorite colors) has produced a child who even as he was in my tummy, defected to the other side. The result was that during my pregnancy (only during this pregnancy) I could not even stand to look at a tomato but as soon as I delivered the child I was back to my obsession of tomatoes. The tomato-hating-child now is nineteen years old and in college and although he has out-grown a lot of his finickiness about food, he still avoids tomatoes like the plague! The weird thing is that he can drink a whole bottle of ketchup and he loves a great tomato ragu or a marinara on any pasta but he still will not eat a raw tomato, if his life depended on it!
Anyhow, I love tomatoes of every kind, every color and every size and my love affair with tomatoes goes through a high every summer. This is why this tomato salad with a sun-dried tomato dressing is a favorite of mine. The more varied the taste of the tomatoes you choose to put in it, the better it turns out! This time I used red and orange cherry tomatoes, red grape tomatoes, some green tomatoes and some yellow tomatoes (from my yard). Some of them were real tart and some were sugary sweet (especially the little orange Zima tomatoes). And the dressing was a simple vinaigrette with sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, some balsamic vinegar, some honey and an extra drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. I used chives as the only flavoring herb because I didn’t want the flavor of tomatoes masked by any strong smelling hers like basil or rosemary. A little bit of shaved Toscana or Parmesan cheese on top works wonders for the salad.
1. ½ of tomatoes of various kinds (any heirloom tomatoes would work well)
2. 6-7 strands of fresh chives.
3. A few shavings of Toscana or Parmesan cheese
4. Two tablespoons of sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
5. 1.5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
6. 1 tablespoon of honey
7. 1.5 tablespoon of Balsamic Vinegar
1. Wash and dry the tomatoes.
5. To make the vinaigrette add the following ingredients in a small food processor: sundried tomatoes, olive oil, honey and balsamic vinegar. Whisk everything in the food processor to get a coarse and thick dressing.
7. Finely slice the cheese (Toscana or Parmesan or Pecorino cheese) in to flakes.
8. Pour the salad in a serving dish and add the finely sliced cheese slices on top. This makes for a great light lunch with a crusty piece of bread or a side dish with a grilled piece of fish or a grilled chicken breast (best with any kind of white meat).