Friday, August 14, 2009

Tomato Salad 2

I’ve been talking about tomatoestomatoes and the media, my funny/strange ways with tomatoes, and a series of tomato salads that keep these fruit in the spotlight (and away from my greens!). And why not? It’s been quite warm of late (typhoons then this heat...the weather is leaving me befuddled) and the tomatoes are almost jumping of their own accord into my market bag, so I think it’s apt that I post about my tomato salads.

As I said in my last post, I like my tomatoes in salads of their own, away from my greens, and of fairly simple preparation. If I’ve found really excellent tomatoes, or if I’m hungry and can’t be bothered to prepare anything that requires utensils or washing up, then I just have tomatoes with salt. Effortless and unbelievably also brings back fond memories of the days before I could cook ;) My Tomato Salad 1 is just a small step up from this :)

If I have a whole bunch of tomatoes that needs to be used up right away, or if the mood strikes me, I slow-roast them in my oven. This method is also good with less than stellar tomatoes as it concentrates the sugars in particular and the flavor in general. It is also cheaper to do this than to buy fancy (and imported) bottled sun-dried tomatoes. You can also control how dry you’d like your tomatoes...I prefer mine semi-dried, with a little “meat” still on them.

And then I have my second tomato salad to trot out...

Tomato Salad 2
  • 250 grams cherry tomatoes (or other tomatoes of your preference – different sizes and colors are good -- of roughly the same volume)
  • 1 small red onion
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

- Slice tomatoes: no rules here – slice them as haphazardly or as uniform as you’d like. For these cherry tomatoes I left the smallest ones whole and sliced the majority in half...for the biggest ones I cut them in quarters.
- Slice the onion into thin half moons – as thin as you can manage.
- Toss onions and tomatoes together and dress with a couple of good glugs of olive oil and some dashes balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with sea salt (as good a finishing salt as you have – and don’t be shy about it) and freshly cracked black pepper. I always do this to taste but if you want a guide just use 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar, toss, taste, and adjust. Toss don’t want battered tomatoes!

This is another way I like my tomatoes – with onions. Good and proper, breath-busting, red onions. Held together with sweet balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper (lots!) this salad is not shy with its flavour. It’s wonderful with anything grilled or fried...though we’ve had it with everything from roast chicken to adobo and it goes splendidly with those too.

For this salad I use any nice or interesting tomatoes that come my way. I’ll get different kinds, shapes, sizes, colors (I sometimes like to add some green tomatoes here) and cut them up into random chunks (just trying to remain in the vicinity of the same size). I used cherry tomatoes in this particular one because I came across some cute specimens in the market :) So don’t limit yourself! Feel free to grab what looks good to you. Some also prefer to “de-fang” their onions by soaking them in water and salt (then rinsing and draining) to remove some of the bite, but it’s exactly that raw-onion-bite against the sweet tomatoes that I love in this salad, just make sure you slice them as thin as you can.

More tomato salad coming soon! Happy weekend everyone :)


Anh said...

Aren't roasted tomatoes the very best thing? I love them!

Justin said...

i love that photo

veron said...

Oh my, I would definitely have this with grilled or fried or roast food!

Dhanggit said...

yummy!! i love them paired with anything grilled!!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A wonderful salad! Today I ate some yummy Kumato tomatoes... Terrific!



Midge said...

This looks and sounds delectably tangy, Joey. And so pretty, too!

Divina Pe, RHN said...

That's really good tomato. Where do you buy your tomatoes?

ChichaJo said...

Hi Anh! Truly! I love how it intensifies the tomatoes’ flavour...mmm!

Hi Justin! Thanks :)

Hi Veron! With some grilled liempo or fried fish if would be terrific!

Hi Dhanggit! Me too :)

Hi Rosa! Ooh...those sound great!

Hi Midge! Thanks! Simple and good :)

Hi Divina! I buy them at either Salcedo or Legazpi markets...I try to get a mix of native ones, big salad ones, and cherry tomatoes. I keep my eyes open for new varieties as well which is always exciting :) I sometime get the big beefy ones they have in Santis if they have them...and if I’m up for a little splurge ;)

Manggy said...

Oh! A real tomato tomato salad, awesome! :) Years of blah tomatoes here have turned me off their raw forms, but I'll keep on searching for those perfect specimens :)

Junglefrog said...

I absolutely love tomatoes and grilling them is one of the best ways to bring out all the lovely sweet flavours. I am not such a big fan of raw onions though, but maybe I should give this a try. I never seem to be able to cut the things thin enough though!

Watergirl said...

Tomato and onion salad was always a side dish for dinner at home, it was always around and I never thought of it as a salad until I was much older. I always used to think of it as a regular part of the meal, to eat with any meat dish, especially fried ones. I like adding a dash of patis or top the salad on fried rice, then sprinkle dilis on it as a perfect light meal.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Manggy! I’m sure the ones I find are no match for the heirloom tomatoes or true sun-ripened ones (I’d have to find a nice farm for that) but I try to get them as fresh as can be in the market and store them properly...really makes a difference!

Hi Junglefrog! I can’t cut them that thin either (expert knife-handler I am not) but I really love raw onions so I can be a tad OTT in the onion department :)

Hi M! That does sound perfect! I love this as a siding (just had some tonight!) for a ton of different dishes!

Millet said...

oh yes...i've completely forgotten about roasting tomatoes. will do this sometime this week!

foodcreate said...

Amazing I love your photos

Great delicious recipe :) Grilled or fried love tomato salad


ChichaJo said...

Hi Millet! It really transforms them! :)

Hi Foodcreate! Thanks much :)

Pinaybackpacker said...

I love that photo. Your Tomato salad series reminded me of one of my childhood dreams - to have a farm and grow big, red tomatoes on them, among other things.:D

ChichaJo said...

Hello Pinaybackpacker! Thank you! Glad you like it :) I would love to have a farm too...with tomatoes and lots of piggies :) My dream would be to have both a snazzy city flat and a country farm filled with potential food! Maybe one day we'll win the lotto? :)

Pinaybackpacker said... mom regularly bets on the numbers of our birthdays, so far we haven't won the jackpot yet. I'm keeping my fingers crossed..:D

Mine is to have a whole island to myself. I will have a farm and a little resort. So, all the food that will be served will be grown organically. Sarap mangarap. :D

ChichaJo said...

Well you know what they say...dreaming's free! :)