Susan’s Tomato Salad

Vine Tomatoes
Vine Tomatoes

I’ve just been researching how to present recipes on a blog, must they be your own, are adaptations of others’ recipes allowed, or is it even legal or right to “borrow” someone else’s recipe, even if you link back to their blog or website? Seems it’s a bit of a gray area and a contentious one at that. I don’t want to worry about it. As an extremely creative cook — which means I make every recipe into my own by modifying it, usually quite dramatically, or inventing something from scratch — I’ve decided that going forward our Sunnyside Up recipes are going to be Susan originals, or at least my own family recipes. Of course, I’ll give credit where due if a recipe is inspired by an existing one, but I’m going to try to share only recipes I “own” from now on.

Update: We have found a variety of recipe sources that encourage sharing on blogs — one is Peta and there’s others. So we have decided to pop our favorites into the magazine when we plan to actually try the recipes and will follow-up with our reviews.

Before I became a vegetarian, not so long ago, I served this scrumptious tomato salad of my own invention atop a perfectly poached egg that sat atop a perfectly poached filet of salmon. Built in the center of the plate, this amazing creation looked and tasted incredible. The icing on the cake, so to speak, was my homemade tartar sauce piled on top of it all. I either eat the salad on its own now, or alongside other delicious veggies, grains and legumes, or sometimes veggie chicken or Italian “sausage.”

Tons of other sides work incredibly well with these tomatoes, too. For now, we still eat eggs, but we don’t buy them in a store anymore, but down the road at a farm where we see all the chickens and their families running around pecking the ground and having lots of good, clean chicken fun. So, yes, these tomatoes work well with breakfast and brunch. It’s also a great marinade for Chicken, fish, shrimp, lobster.

What You’ll Need: The Basics, but I suggest you experiment with varying amounts of the parsley, maybe add some chopped basil, mint…whatever, and also add garlic to your own taste — I like lots; maybe you like it a little smokier, or less so adjust the sesame oil as well. You will develop your own dressing this way that can be used for grilled chicken and seafood salads, regular old salad or dress anything you can imagine.

Vine tomatoes, or any plump, juicy deliciously fresh tomatoes
Organic balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. Organic dark sesame oil
2 tbsp. lemon juice from a real organic lemon
1 cup Organic extra-virgin olive oil
Garlic cloves, as many as you like — experiment starting with a couple, then go from there
Fresh parsley, finely chopped — start with at least 1/4 cup
1/3 cup Organic liquid wildflower honey
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
Dash of salt, or more to taste
Tons of coarsely ground black pepper, but that’s just me – grind fresh black peppercorns or medleys to your heart’s content
Mason jar to shake it all up

Measure all the dressing ingredients and add to the mason jar. Shake it up until all the ingredients are well-incorporated. Chop your tomatoes, throw them in a gorgeous bowl and pour on the dressing. Place in the refrigerator to chill or dig right in — these tomatoes are the perfect accompaniment to so many non-veg meals, and of course, are the centerpiece of many vegetarian dishes. I am not completely vegan and still love my honey, which is a key ingredient in this dressing. I just make sure it’s wildflower and comes from a local beekeeper I know who loves his bees and runs a small, but orderly operation, just like his bees.

I hope you enjoy playing around with this rather simple, yet intensely flavorful dressing to make it your own. It’s the kind of thing you taste, then add a little more, taste again and add a little more of this or that — just make sure you start modestly with ingredients like garlic, herbs, sesame oil, because you can’t cut back once it’s in there.

Bon Apetit,

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