Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette

I know that in the last post, I said I would tell you about a cake with rosemary, but cherry tomatoes are a special, seasonal, short-time-only situation, and needed to be addressed soon. Cake season goes on forever.

For the most part, I’ve been just eating this year’s summer produce out of hand, like snack food, whether it be snap peas from the farmer’s market or green beans, cucumbers and tomatoes from my own garden. I just haven’t been exploring new recipes or even doing much cooking (except for these favorites and a few summer squash favorites). I have been doing a little chopping and tossing, salad style, and I went back to this simple vinaigrette that I hadn’t made in years.

This really is just a basic vinaigrette with chopped tomatoes stirred in, but don’t underestimate the contribution of beautiful summer tomatoes. You could use whatever tomatoes you like, even sun-dried tomatoes if you want to make this out of season, but I prefer the texture and style of little pieces of cherry tomato. I used a fairly mild, locally produced red wine vinegar, which makes a less acidic dressing. Like any other homemade dressing, however, you can adjust the vinegar and seasonings as you like. You could also add some fresh herbs, particularly slivered basil leaves, if you happen to have some available.

This dressing is good on green salads, and since there’s already some vegetation in the mix, you don’t need to have much more in that salad than some crunchy greens. Recently, I used it to make a bean and olive salad, which was fabulously delicious. I just tossed it over a bowl of white beans and chopped olives. Simple and easy, but still seasonally lovely.

And I’m still working on the post about that cake. Stay tuned.

Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette

This dressing is good on green salads or on heartier salads like the white bean salad with olives pictured above.

You could use another kind of tomato here, or add fresh herbs to taste.

1 medium-size garlic clove, finely minced
1 tablespoon finely minced onion
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt
a few grinds black pepper
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup cherry tomatoes, chopped

1. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, onion, vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir together and let stand about 15 minutes.

2. Whisk in the olive oil until the mixture is well-emulsified. Stir in the cherry tomatoes. Taste the dressing and adjust the seasoning or vinegar-oil balance as desired.

Makes a generous ½ cup dressing. Use right away.

Other recipes like this one: Basic Vinaigrette, Feta and Lemon Vinaigrette

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