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Tomato Salad

Tomato Salad

My son and I were at a local bookstore the other day and those who know me know that I can never leave a bookstore empty handed.  My new prize for the day was “Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook: Strategies, Recipes and Techniques of Classic Bistro Cooking”.  First of all, I must say that book is a complete winner.  Lovely photos, easy to follow instructions.  Cool cookbook.  Second of all, as I was flipping through the pages, his recipe for a Tomato Salad caught my eye.  I had a bunch of heirloom “Caspian Pink” tomatoes from my garden that I needed to deal with and that recipe sounded like it would be a good one.  Color me wrong…  After it was all said and done, Bourdain’s recipe for the Tomato Salad was not just a good one.  It was simply outstanding!

This “slightly adapted” Tomato Salad recipe is a simple yet flavorful mixture of sliced and seeded heirloom tomatoes, thin slivers of red onion, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh basil, salt and pepper.  If you have some heirloom tomatoes, be sure to give this recipe a shot.  It’s easy and delicious!  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 2 pounds fresh heirloom tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 small to medium sized red onion
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1/4 cup good quality olive oil
  • 2 Tbs balsamic vinegar (I used the dark, not the white)
  • fresh basil leaves for garnish

Wash, core and cut the heirloom tomatoes into wedges.  Place wedges into a colander and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp coarse salt and 1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper.  Let tomatoes sit for 1/2 hour.  (I tossed mine in the fridge, I like my salads on the cool side)

Meanwhile, peel and thinly slice the red onion and place in another colander.  Sprinkle on the additional 1/2 tsp of salt and let the onions sit for 1/2 hour also (I stuck them in the fridge too).

When the 1/2 hour is up, lightly brush off the salt and pepper from the tomatoes and give each tomato wedge a light squeeze to remove the seeds.  Toss seeds away.  Add tomatoes to a bowl.  Using your clean hands lightly squeeze the moisture out of the onions.  Add onions to tomatoes.  In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic paste, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.  Add the dressing to tomato and onion mixture.  Lightly toss, taste and correct your seasonings.  Garnish with basil leaves, and serve.  Makes 4 servings.