I spent the majority of the afternoon slicing red onions.
The plan was to caramelize them, but the late summer heat crept in so fast I didn’t know what to wipe away first; the tears streaming down my face or my forehead.
And then the phone rang.
It was my dad, inviting us to the beach.
At that moment, I realized caramelized anything in 800 degree weather sounded just as exciting as filing taxes.
So, I grabbed a few juicy tomatoes and made this salad to enjoy by the waves.
Here’s how I made it:
After slicing the onions, they were quickly submerged in red wine vinegar and a pinch of salt to take the raw edge off. I do this often; it’s like a ‘quick pickle.’
Then, I cut the tomatoes into thick wedges and threw them into a bowl. I can’t even describe the glorious feeling of fresh tomato juice dripping down your fingers while you chop. Tomato season is like Christmas. These beauties came from the farm.
To finish, fresh basil and mint were thinly sliced and sprinkled over the tomatoes. I added a few of the pickled onions, and some dried oregano for depth of flavor.
The dried oregano by the way, was a gift from my neighbor.
Mr. Wolfie gave us three hefty bunches which he grew and dried himself.
The first bunch was dried in his basement. The second was dried in his attic. And the third bunch was dried outside in the backyard. Story has it, each one exhibits a slightly different flavor profile depending on how and where they are dried (apparently, the Italians down the street say the Americans spray too much chemicals on their lawn so bunch 1 & 2 are the way to go).
Huh. Who knew?
The tomato salad was generously seasoned with salt, drizzled with olive oil and chilled before my dad came to pick us up.
The puddle of juice that forms at the bottom of the bowl is the best part of this dish- grab some bread, people!
We ate this beachside with the sound of waves and seashells clamoring in the distance.
If you have yet to make a tomato salad this summer, this recipe is so tasty it needs nothing more than a fork (and possibly a beach towel).
- ¼ small red onion, shaved paper thin (use a mandolin, if you have one)
- splash of red wine vinegar
- 4-5 large perfectly ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges
- 1 handful fresh basil, cut into ribbons
- 1 handful fresh mint, cut into ribbons
- pinch of dried oregano
- olive oil, for drizzling
- coarse salt, to taste
- To a small bowl, add the onions with a splash of vinegar and a pinch of salt. Let it sit while you prep the rest of the salad.
- Add the tomatoes to a large bowl. Sprinkle the shaved onions and herbs over the top- the exact amount is up to you. Feel free to add more or less.
- Drizzle with olive oil to coat, and season with salt.
- Toss gently, being careful not to squash the tomatoes. Taste and adjust seasoning again if necessary.
- Chill until ready to serve, up to 1 our.