Our Best Tomato Salad (Easy)
This recipe has been an easy summer staple with my family since the 1960s. The recipe came from my Grandma Rose's Friend Sadie Calabrese, years before. Growing up, my Mom often had this on our Summertime dinner table, served with tomatoes from her and my Dad's garden.
This is a very healthy and simple tomato salad, but packs a delicious flavor punch. The key to this tomato salad is using fresh tomatoes, not skimping on the amount of herbs, garlic, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Red Wine Vinegar & giving the salad time to macerate before serving. It is best served at room temperature, so plan to take it out of the fridge an hour or so before serving.
Use large tomatoes (such as beefsteak) from your local farmers market or your own garden. And, good quality extra virgin olive oil is the way to go! Sometimes I like to sprinkle in some cherry tomatoes for visual interest and fresh cracked black pepper just before serving. Also, if you are a cheese lover, of course, add some fresh mozzarella or feta cheese (just before serving).
The herbs are just as important as the tomatoes. Oregano, basil and parsley all chopped and mixed together and liberally sprinkled. If you like green onions, you can always all some of those chopped too.
This salad is still good the next day or you can choose to cook down the leftovers (instructions below) and make a delicious sauce to serve over pasta, rice, green beans, cauliflower or whatever works for you.
Even though this tomato salad doesn't call for Balsamic Vinegar, it doesn't mean you can't add that in. My suggestion would be to offer O'Live A Little's Traditional Balsamic Vinegar or Italian Fig Balsamic Vinegar as a drizzle once the salad is scooped onto one's plate.
I hope you, your family and friends enjoy this perfect side dish!
4-5 of the Best Large Tomatoes you can find, sliced about ¼” thick. If you can find heirloom tomato varieties in various colors, even better!
¼ -1/2 of a large Vidalia or Red Onion, sliced very thin
Fresh chopped Basil (at least 1/2 Cup)
Fresh chopped Parsley (at least 1/2 Cup)
Fresh chopped Oregano (at least 1/4 Cup)
Fresh chopped Garlic (Very liberal amount.... 4-6 tablespoons)
¾ Cup O'Live A Little Sweet Red Wine Vinegar (Very different from grocery store variety!)
1 ½ Cups O'Live A Little's Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Sweet Basil Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Method Of Prep
Arrange sliced tomatoes in a single layer on the serving dish. Sprinkle chopped garlic and herbs evenly over tomatoes and then arrange very thinly sliced onions on top.
Pour enough Olive Oil and red wine vinegar on top of salad so the tomatoes are at least 1/2 way submerged.
Refrigerate for at least 3 hours (more is better). Let sit at room temp for 1 hour prior to serving.
Sprinkle with black and white sea salt flakes just before serving. Provide a deep spoon so guests can scoop more dressing of platter... they will want to!
Enjoy with a great fruity red wine!
Sadie’s Sicilian Tomato Sauce
The above salad is so delicious, wait until you cook the leftovers and use the sauce over pasta, fish, green beans or Arancini! Be sure to make an extra salad, so you can make the sauce from the leftovers! You will be glad you did!
To make the sauce: Simply rough chop the remaining salad above (I chop it right on the platter or container it is in) and then pour into a frying pan and sauté until onions are tender, tomatoes have broken down and the sauce has thickened (20-30 mins).
NOTE: Sometimes I find there is more of the juicy, delicious dressing than is needed for the sauce. So, scoop out all the tomatoes, onions, garlic and herbs that you can (some of the dressing will just be soaked into the leftovers and will often be enough to sauté the remaining salad). When sautéing, add more dressing if you feel the sauce seems too dry. Also, save whatever dressing you don't add to the sauce for your next Tomato Salad or just use as a dressing for whatever salad you have!
Best Platter for Serving: The best platter type for this salad is one that has a bit of depth to it so it can hold all the dressing and the tomato slices can pretty much be in one layer. Also, you can't beat a white platter to show off all the beautiful color in this tomato salad or any food that you have spent time preparing. Here are a few suggestions that are similar to ones we have and use: