Mom’s Tomato Salad

Usually, when I make tomato salad, I just slice some fresh beefsteak tomatoes from the farmers market, add salt and pepper and drizzle over some extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I sprinkle over some fresh basil leaves, and I’m done:

This tastes best with tomatoes that have not been refrigerated, and it does not really pay to make this ahead and refrigerate it. Generally speaking, refrigeration does no favors to the taste and texture of tomatoes.

My mother makes a tomato salad that actually tastes better after it has been refrigerated a while. It is good ice-cold from the fridge. Her recipe is an easy do-ahead salad that is a great way to use up end of summer tomatoes.

My Mom’s Tomato Salad
My mom has been making this salad for over twenty-five years–I have no idea what the original inspiration was. Note that the recipe makes a whole lot of dressing. Probably more than you will really need. My mother just saves the extra for the next batch, but you might find it easier to just make less in the first place. See the note at the end of the recipe for a smaller amount of dressing.

6 large beefsteak tomatoes
1/4 cup wine vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced (actually, my mom dislikes raw garlic in salad and usually just adds a sprinkle of garlic powder)
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. salt (I used kosher salt, I would start with half the salt and then add as needed)
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. dried basil (2 Tbl. fresh can be used)
1/4 cup chopped scallions
parsley, lots, enough to generously sprinkle over

Make the dressing: Mix together the olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic (powder or fresh), basil (dried or fresh), and scallions.Taste dressing and adjust seasoning.

Slice the tomatoes and layer them in a shallow round glass or Pyrex pan or casserole (a 9″ round Pyrex pan is good). Drizzle each layer with some dressing.You don’t want to drown the tomatoes, so you might have dressing left over after you have drizzled each layer. My mother saves the extra for the next salad.

Sprinkle the top with parsley (I used cilantro because that is what I had). Refrigerate until ready to serve. My mother varies the amount of tomato and dressing and it works out well every time.

Note: the above recipe tends to make a whole lot of dressing, probably more than you need for one salad. You might want to cut it down as follows:

2 Tbl. wine vinegar
6 Tbl. olive oil
1/2 garlic clove, minced (actually, my mom dislikes raw garlic in salad and usually just adds a sprinkle of garlic powder)
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2-1 tsp. salt, or to taste
pinch pepper, or to taste
1/4 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. dried basil (1 Tbl. fresh can be used)
2 Tbl. chopped scallions

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3 Responses to “Mom’s Tomato Salad”

  1. Rivki Locker Says:

    I tend to stick to my tried-and-true tomato salad recipe, which uses lemon juice, fresh basil, olive oil and scallions. This looks like a really nice one to try.

  2. Lauren Says:

    Yum–that dressing sounds tasty! It doesn’t hurt that you’ve got some tomatoes with gorgeous color to top things off!

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