Tri-Colore Tomato Salad

20120601-230124.jpg What better way to welcome summer in than with a simple tomato salad? I saw these plump, multi-colored tomato babies at the supermarket and couldn't resist buying a box, or two. Once my local farmer's market has heirloom varieties, you can bet that I'll be making this recipe on the regular.

The great thing about this simple recipe, is that it really enhances the natural flavor of tomatoes, without adding dried herbs or too much basil. I used two types of vinegar, and after playing around with different combos, decided that balsamic and white wine vinegar worked the best. Feel free to substitute with your favorite varieties, though.

You will need:

  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp white wine, champagne, or rice wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsp good olive oil
  • 1 lb ripe tomatoes. I like to pick up different colored ones, just for fun.
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • s&p, to taste
  • basil, for garnish

The first step will be to put the vinegars, olive oil, smashed garlic, shallots, and freshly ground black pepper in a bowl and let that sit while you chop up the tomatoes. This is important because it allows for the garlic flavor to infuse with the liquid and for the shallots to lose some of their sharp bite. (You'll remove the garlic later)

Then, tend to the tomatoes. For cherry-sized tomatoes, you'll want to halve them and put them in a colander with a sprinkle of salt to get out the excess moisture and sliminess. For larger tomatoes, quarter or 8th them into large, bite sized chunks. You get the drill.

Don't rush on this step. Take your time while the dressing sits. Take a break and make other stuff, or watch an episode of Law & Order SVU. Whatever.

When the dressing is good, remove the garlic, and add the tomatoes to the dressing. Give it a good toss, and let that sit for at least 30 mintutes before serving so the flavors really meld together. After 30 minutes, I like to dump the tomato mixture into the colander to get rid of the excess juice that accumulates at the bottom.

Garnish with fresh basil, if you wish. Then, you're ready to serve! I find that it usually will last up to about 5 days in the fridge, maybe longer, but I've never waited to find out. It's best served room temperature.