tomato salad

Fresh Tomato Salads

Marinated Tomato Salad

Tomato season is too short around here. I can never get enough of what my mom called “real tomatoes”. The first few tomatoes never make it in the house. Warm from the sun, they are too tempting. I just pick them right off the plant and eat them.

Then, I start to think about preserving some for after the season is over. So I start drying and canning tomatoes.

Sometimes, in the excitement of canning and dehydrating tomatoes, I find I haven’t remembered to eat enough of them fresh. So anxious to get as many as possible put away for winter, I have denied  myself the pleasure of  fresh, juicy, vine-ripened tomatoes.

Well, not this year. I have been having tomatoes with my eggs for breakfast, creamy tomato soup for lunch and plenty of tomato sandwiches and salads. I thought I would share a few of my favorite tomato salad recipes with you.

They are pretty simple. I think that is how it should be. When you have something as close to perfection as a ripe tomato, little more is needed.

Marinated Tomato Salad

3 large tomatoes, cut in wedges, or 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
1 T. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2-3 basil leaves, cut into thin strips
2 T. balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Combine ingredients and serve at room temperature. Serves 4-6.

Tomato and Feta Salad

3 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
12 cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil -I used a lemon infused olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

In a bowl, mix the feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, onion, olive oil, and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. Serves 2.

Warm Pasta Salad

1 lb. Plum tomatoes, chopped

1 medium sweet onion, chopped

4 oz. Fresh mushrooms, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ c. fresh parsley, chopped

1 T. dried basil or 1/4 c. chopped fresh basil

1 T. capers, optional

1 t. dried oregano

½ c. olive oil

¼ c. red wine vinegar

3 T. balsamic vinegar

Dash of hot red pepper flakes

Salt to taste

1 lb. Uncooked pasta

Combine all ingredients, except pasta and chill overnight. Cook pasta, drain and toss with tomato mixture. Mixture should be served right away . Serves 6.

BLT Salad

6-8 slices bacon

2 slices rye bread

2 slices Swiss cheese

5 c. torn up lettuce or mixed greens

3 T. olive oil

2 T. apple cider vinegar

1 T. balsamic vinegar

Salt and fresh ground pepper

2-3 tomatoes, diced

Cook bacon until crisp. Remove from pan, drain and crumble. Remove most of the bacon grease from the pan. Make a sandwich with the rye bread and the Swiss cheese. Toast in the skillet over medium heat until golden brown and cheese is melted. Set aside. Place lettuce in bowl and toss with the oil to coat the leaves. Toss with the vinegars and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the tomatoes and the bacon and toss. Cut the sandwich into cubes and place on the top of the salad. Serves 2.

Note: you can make two sandwiches if you want more bread and cheese in the salad.

Tomato Feta Salad

Tomato Feta Salad

Warm Pasta Salad

Warm Pasta Salad

BLT Salad

BLT Salad

Autumn Tomato Salad

Autumn Tomato Salad

Autumn Tomato Salad

It’s always kind of sad to say goodbye to fresh tomato season. There should be another month until frost hits our area and I am trying to eat as many fresh tomatoes as I can between now and then. I have been getting heirloom tomatoes from my friend Carl at Blue Pike Farm.  I needed a salad for a dinner with friends and decided to make this simple but tasty tomato salad. That’s the thing about fresh tomatoes. You really don’t need to do much with them. Heck, I’m happy with some fresh slices and a sprinkle of salt. For this salad I started with slices of fresh tomatoes. I had a bottle of this amazing olive oil so I added a drizzle of it to the tomatoes along with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, too. I also added a few basil leaves and some freshly ground sea salt. I wanted a crunch element and decided to add toasted pumpkin seeds. You can buy them already toasted or just toast them yourself.* I sprinkled them over the tomato salad and it added just the texture I was looking for.

 

The olive oil I used

The olive oil I used

 

*To toast pumpkin seeds place a layer of pumpkin seeds in a dry skillet and cook them, over medium heat, until they start to brown a little. Toss or stir often. Be careful not to burn them. The seeds will jump a little in the pan. That’s normal. Once seeds have toasted remove them from the heat and let them cool down.

Warm Pasta Salad

Warm Pasta Salad

Warm Pasta Salad

I love to make this salad when I have really good tomatoes. It is one of my favorite ways to enjoy fresh tomatoes. The base of the salad is a mixture of tomatoes, mushrooms, onion and some seasonings which are allowed to blend together in the fridge overnight. When you are ready to have your salad toss the cold tomato mixture with fresh cooked hot pasta. The pasta tomato mixture is served right then, warm and fragrant. I often sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on the top, or serve on the side. I do sometimes serve the salad cold.

Warm Pasta Salad

1 lb. Plum tomatoes, chopped
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
4oz. Fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ c. fresh parsley, chopped
1 T. dried basil                                                                                                                                        1 T. capers, optional
1 t. dried oregano
½ c. olive oil
¼ c. red wine vinegar
3 T. balsamic vinegar
Dash of hot red pepper flakes
Salt to taste
1 lb. Uncooked pasta

Combine all ingredients, except pasta and chill overnight. Cook pasta, drain and toss with tomato mixture. Mixture should be served right away . Serves 6.

Tomato and Feta Salad

Tomato and Feta Salad

Tomato and Feta Salad

For a quick and tasty salad one of my favorites is sliced, fresh tomatoes with feta cheese. This recipe also has some diced sweet onion and a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice to finish it off. Salt and pepper to taste and you’re done.  Sometimes less is more. In this case just a few ingredients and you are good to go.

Tomato and Feta Salad

3 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
12 cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil -I used a lemon infused olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

In a bowl, mix the feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, onion, olive oil, and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. Serves 2.