Friday, September 09, 2011

Using up tomatoes-- fabulous salad dressing!

Hi friend. You and I understand each other. We are going through the same thing, and that is the shared pain of being buried under the end of summer tomatoes. You don't want to waste them, I don't want to waste them. Someone put a lot of sweat into growing the things. The least we can do is eat them. Right? Right?!!

photo credit: Jon Fravel

Easier said than done. This is the time when it seems like tomatoes go on forever. I am on-my-knees grateful to live near a farm in suburbia that provides perfect quality tomatoes (and other produce!). But when the supply seems near endless, it's time to go no-holds-barred with our very creative tomato ideas.

Happily, I'm not going to subject you to a #tomatofail (my sadly unbalanced salsa in which I indiscriminately also threw in some tomatillos of varying ripeness). On the other hand, this is tamer than the roasted red pepper/asparagus/pineapple sauce. Here's what I made: Salad dressing!

Who would have thought? Tomatoes *in* salads, not *on* them. And since at least two of the four people in this household won't touch mayo or creamy dressings, we don't do 1000-island or French dressing person. But tomatoes in the vinaigrette was delicious. I used the heirloom tomatoes from our farm share, but any flavorful, meaty, umami-laden tomato will be perfect. Or use imperfect. Whatever you've got. It's worth a shot. (This is my kitchen mantra.)

Simple Tomato Balsamic Vinaigrette

Makes about 2/3 c.
5 minute prep (that's how you know I made this up; short prep!)

1 large (.5 lb) or 2 medium tomatoes
1 small shallot
1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/3 c. balsamic vinegar
2 T. whole grain mustard (I used Murietta's Well mustard w/ garlic, which was great)
2 T. chopped parsley
salt, pepper

Roughly chop the tomato(es), shallot and parsley. Throw them in either a blender or the cup for your handheld stick blender (which I love because it's so much easier to clean than the blender, especially for smaller amounts). Add the olive oil, vinegar, and mustard on top. Blend away!

It's so good as is, but feel free to add salt and pepper as needed.

This dressing was fabulous on green salad (with tomatoes!) but I think it'd be a lovely addition to a purple/yellow potato salad as well. Have fun!