I love tomatoes. I call them my favorite “fruit” … not so much because they are technically a fruit but because my favorite vegetable is carrots, and I would have a difficult time choosing between the two if they were both deemed vegetables.
This summer, my big Costco discovery was these Symphony tomatoes (I’ve also seen a smaller “symphony” package in Chuck’s Produce, which suggests to me that you might be able to find them elsewhere as well.) They are an eye catching array of colorful cherry sized tomatoes – with colors such as chocolate brown, white (which looks like a “greenish” white), green, orange, and the familiar red. Most of the tomatoes are roundish in shape, but some are “Roma” tomato shape.
To make my tomato salad, I start with a colander full of these tomatoes with all the blossoms removed and the tomatoes washed thoroughly. Then I cut them. Most of the round tomatoes I cut in half, but some of the larger round tomatoes I cut into fourths … basically, I cut the tomatoes into bite size pieces.
Then I season with Kosher salt and ground pepper. If I happen to have it on hand, I will substitute the Kosher salt with a gourmet salt from Woody’s Gourmet. (My personal favorite is the Black Truffle & Fresh Thyme Sea Salt)
Then I reach for my bottle of Smoky Bacon flavored Grapeseed Oil from Wildtree. This is the MAGIC product in this salad, because it adds such a delightful flavor. The bacon flavor is not an overpowering flavor, and I might like this even better if the bacon flavor was more pronounced (Bacon is a lot like chocolate in that more bacon = better.) The bacon is best tasted when you taste the oil on it’s own, but, I still taste the bacon flavor when I make this tomato salad, and love the way the smoky bacon and tomato flavors meld.
Note: If you really want to focus on the bacon flavors, I suggest seasoning with plain Kosher salt rather than the gourmet stuff, as the extra seasoning in the gourmet sea salts tend to distract my palate.
I have fallen in love with Grapeseed Oil because I love the taste. I used to be very devoted to olive oil, but, I like grapeseed oil even better, and I love the Wildtree brand (and not just because one of my dear friends sells the stuff!) The taste of the grapeseed oil is not as heavy as the olive oil, and I find this especially desirable on a salad like my tomato salad where I want to taste the tomato.
I drizzle the grapeseed oil over the seasoned tomatoes, and then I follow that with a drizzle of vinegar. I tried this salad first using this Champagne Mimosa Vinegar from Chapparal Gardens – LOVED it – but now I use balsamic vinegar and that is good too. The Champagne vinegar is better … but it is also kind of pricey, Then again, so is a good balsamic vinegar, but since I always have balsamic vinegar on hand … well, you get the idea, right?
After I’ve seasoned and dressed the tomatoes, I toss the tomatoes well in the mixture to make sure that all the tomatoes get some vinegar and oil and seasoning on them. And then I eat it. YUM!
Yeah, I told you it’s easy. So, if it’s a little too easy for you and my recipe is leaving you asking why I bothered to write this post … let me add this: Tomatoes are very good for you! They are an excellent source of antioxidants and help lower cholesterol. They are also an excellent source of vitamin C, A, K and potassium. And they’re practically calorie free! Now, the dressing on this salad isn’t calorie or fat free, of course, but, I suggest go sparingly with the vinegar and oil anyway and let the tomatoes be the star of the show.
You can find more yummy grapeseed oil recipes on my friend Jennifer’s blog!