Summer is here and that means one thing: tomatoes! About now is when you should start seeing really ripe red tomatoes in the stores and farmer’s markets.
This is a salad that actually adapted from a restaurant I used to work at although I’m sure my version is slightly different just because I don’t have the exact recipe. But the idea is the same.
Instead of using a normal vinaigrette or something for this salad, the dressing is a tomato marmalade with ripe cherry tomatoes, rosemary, and red wine vinegar. Tossing the greens in a tablespoon or two of this gives the whole salad a very rich tomato taste.
Yield: Serves 4.
1 pint ripe cherry tomatoes
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1/3 Cup sugar
2 Cups water
Pinch of salt
2 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
Rest of the salad:
Ripe Roma tomatoes (or your favorite tomato. Heirloom tomatoes would also rock.)
Sprinkle of sea or kosher salt
Mozzarella Cheese (optional)
1) Add all your marmalade ingredients except red wine vinegar to a medium saucepan over medium heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Bring mixture to a boil.
2) Remove rosemary sprigs from mixture when it starts to boil and turn heat down to low.
3) Simmer for about an hour. As it simmers, crush tomatoes with a spatula or fork to break them up.
4) After it has thickened substantially, remove from heat and add your red wine vinegar to taste.
5) Once it is cooled, toss a Tablespoon or two of marmalade with greens for the salad. Then top with cut tomatoes and basil. You could also add mozzarella cheese to it.
Making the Marmalade
You could make this savory marmalade a few days or even a week in advance. It stores beautifully. Not that it’ll last that long though because it’s very tasty.
In a medium saucepan, add all your ingredients except the red wine vinegar and get it cooking over high heat.
Your tomatoes should be covered completely with water. If not, add more water.
Once this comes to a boil, remove your rosemary sprigs from the pan. They will have given off a lot of flavor and you don’t want the large sprigs in your final product.
Once it’s boiling, move your temperature down to low so it’s simmering and let this cook down for about an hour. After a few minutes of boiling you should be able to mush up the tomatoes which should help the cooking process.
This is after about 30 or 40 minutes of simmering:
Once it gets down to almost a syrupy consistency, kill the heat and add in your red wine vinegar to taste. For me this was about 2 Tablespoons but you could use more or less.
Let this cool completely for an hour or two. Once it’s room temperature it should be pretty thick.
Making the Salad
Once your marmalade is made, the salad is pretty simple.
A few basic ingredients should do the trick. Again, the key to this salad is getting really good tomatoes!
Add some greens to a bowl and toss in a Tablespoon or two of the tomato marmalade. A little goes a long way so don’t over-do it! Give the greens a good toss to coat everything.
You could serve this a number of different ways, but I cut my tomatoes into wedges and added them on top of the greens along with some basil.
If you wanted to do a Caprese type thing, you could add some mozzarella cheese to the finished salad. I also served this with a nice toasted piece of bird seed bread!
The nice thing about this recipe is that you’ll probably have leftover tomato marmalade. It’s good on toast or an english muffin. In fact, if I made this again, I might just make a double batch of that stuff. It was awesome.
If you’re looking for a good way to use some nice fresh summer tomatoes, give this a shot!