In summer, when seasonal tomatoes are at their peak, it takes minimal effort to make them shine. Here are four terrific, easy salads to add to your repertoire!
When I was a little girl, my father kept a vegetable garden in the back yard each summer. My earliest memories of that garden were when I was about three years old. The tomato plants were big and gangly. They were my least favourite plants, because they had fuzzy leaves, a strong odor, and — to my child’s mind — looked ugly. However, I have never forgotten my first bite of a ripe juicy tomato, still warm from the vine. It was love at first bite!
If you’re fortunate enough to have some rather large, juicy tomatoes on hand (such as Beefeaters), pluck a couple from the garden today. Cut them into six pieces — not the whole way through — and open them like a flower. Grind a little sea salt and black pepper over them. Then add a scoop of ice cold cottage cheese to the centre and snip a generous handful of fresh chives over the plate. That’s a simple, old-fashioned recipe that makes the most of the season’s bounty and is a lunch sure to satisfy even the pickiest eaters.
We all need an arsenal of delicious salads for those summer days when we’d rather be at the pool than in the kitchen. Fortunately, seasonal tomatoes don’t require a whole lot of dressing up. Here are a few of our family favourites to get you started.
Our Four Favourite Tomato Salads
These are the salads I turn to on lazy days when I can’t face the kitchen, but want to enjoy vine-ripe tomatoes.
- Heirloom Tomato and Basil Salad. This Italian classic is by far the easiest of the bunch. You prepare it, set it aside and forget about it until serving time. The salt helps the tomatoes release their natural juices and a drizzle of olive oil is all that’s needed to finish it off!
- Village-Style Greek Salad. This zesty salad is packed with the bold flavours of the Mediterranean — black olives, tomatoes, feta, cucumbers, and fresh herbs. However, the best thing about this Greek salad is that it holds up beautifully on your buffet and pairs well with anything you feel like rustling up on the grill.
- Mediterranean Tomato Salad with Onion, Spiced Feta & Preserved Lemon. This salad is a little more fiddly than the previous two. However, it is absolutely worth the effort. The tomatoes are the star, and the addition of the feta makes this salad filling enough to serve as a main for a light lunch or dinner. Add some warm pita bread to the menu to soak up all the delicious juices, and you’ll be in heaven.
- Tomato Salad with Tuna, Olives and Capers. Packed with summer goodness, this delicious salad makes a satisfying light meal. Perfect for dining al fresco with a glass of dry white wine and a loaf of crusty bread. This salad is a winner the whole family is sure to drool over.