Tuesday, January 12, 2010

An Embarassingly Simple Salad

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Back a few months ago, in the heat of summer, I talked about New York Times’ Mark Bittman’s list of 101 easy summer salads. I shared one of my favorites, a tomato and peach salad. I’ve still got the list and some aren’t just for summer.

One I’ve used recently was easy enough to adapt to non-summer shopping. Instead of great summer tomatoes, I used a carton of grape tomatoes. I’ve been sort of addicted to them since my friend Reed Malkin turned me onto a great appetizer: drizzle them with lemon olive oil (or finely grated lemon zest and a good fruity olive oil) and sprinkle with a good flaked sea salts (Maldon is my sea salt of choice).

This salad is so easy that it’s almost embarrassing to talk about. I’ve made it several times, and I find that in spite of its definite oriental flavors, it goes with a wide variety of main dishes.

And as a bonus: after a recent dinner, I had a bit of the salad left. I also had one lone green bell pepper in the fridge. I cut the pepper in half from stem end down. I brushed the outside of the pepper halves with some of the dressing and filled them with the tomatoes and the rest of the dressing. I baked them in a hot oven for about 20 minutes, and they made a colorful and tasty side dish for a simple grilled pork chop.


I carton grape (or cherry) tomatoes
1 very small onion, peeled and very thinly sliced
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. Oriental sesame oil
1 tbsp. minced parsley or cilantro (optional, if you don’t have them, it will still be a delicious salad)

Cut the grape or cherry tomaties in half. Toss with all the remaining ingredients. Let set at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving, tossing occasionally. Serve as it, or on a bed of greens. Serves 4 to 6 as a side salad.

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