A marinated tomato salad with peppers, onions, olives, garlic, capers and more is the perfect way to showcase your favorite unrefined extra virgin olive oil. We have had this particular tomato salad on warm summer evenings on our back deck overlooking the Sequoia National Forest. Red wine and a piece of sourdough bread dipped in extra virgin olive oil is all you need for olive oil nirvana. I long for this salad now here in the middle of winter as I enter it into the olive oil recipe contest at Nourished Kitchen sponsored by Chaffin Family Orchards.
The recipe calls for vine-ripened heirloom tomatoes though vine ripened hybrids make a fine compromise. The salad gets its beauty from the tomato and assorted pepper colors – green, yellow, and red. Ribbons of fresh basil add visual contrast as well as great summer flavor.
4 large vine-ripened heirloom tomatoes
3 small bell peppers in green, yellow, and red
½ red onion
1 small can of salad olives
4 cloves minced garlic
Handful of basil leaves, cut into ribbons
2 tablespoons capers
Juice of half a lemon
½ cup unrefined extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
As with any memorable recipe that stands on fine ingredients, these ingredients and proportions are highly flexible. Change any of this to fit your taste and the availability of produce. Ideally, your peppers will have thick walls to give the salad extra crunch. You could use one large yellow pepper in place of the three small peppers. A green or red pepper will work as well but won’t add quite the color of the yellow bell.
Make this salad at least one hour before serving so that the flavors blend well. Allow it to sit at room temperature for maximum flavor. Make enough for one meal; refrigeration dulls the taste of the fine ingredients.
1. Cube the tomatoes and bell peppers.
2. Thinly slice the red onion and place all in a bowl.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients and lightly but thoroughly toss your salad. All of the vegetables should be well coated in the extra virgin olive oil, but do not toss them so much that the vegetables become bruised. You want them all to hold their shapes.
Enjoy this salad with a hunk of crusty sourdough and a glass of Merlot. Add a sizzling steak for an impressive meal.
This post is part of Fight Back Friday.