Monday, February 1, 2010

Cherry Tomato Salad

American's Test Kitchen (ATK) Season 9 included a cherry tomato salad, I tried it and loved it. Here is their recipe (directions) but the herbs and cheeses are my formula (taken from the ATK website recipes).

If in-season cherry tomatoes are unavailable, substitute vine-ripened cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes from the supermarket. Cut grape tomatoes in half along the equator (rather than quartering them). If you don’t have a salad spinner, after the salted tomatoes have stood for 30 minutes, wrap the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and gently shake to remove seeds and excess liquid. Strain the liquid and proceed with the recipe as directed. The amount of liquid given off by the tomatoes will depend on their ripeness. If you have less than 1/2 cup of juice after spinning, proceed with the recipe using the entire amount of juice and reduce it to 3 tablespoons as directed (the cooking time will be shorter).

Cheese: use one or more of the following, proportionally reduce amount when multiple cheeses are included.

  • 4 ounces feta cheese , crumbled (about 1 cup)
  • 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese , cut into 1/2-inch cubes and patted dry with paper towels
Herbs: use one or more of the following, proportionally reduce the amount when multiple herbs are included.
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
Serves 4 to 6
2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes , ripe, cut up (about 4 cups) (see note above)
Table salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 medium shallot , minced (about 3 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon red wine or balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Fresh ground black pepper
1 small cucumber , peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice (score skin longitudinally with a fork before slicing)
1/2 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives (optional)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans , toasted (optional)
1 hunk of cheese, crumbled/diced (see note above)
1 bunch chopped fresh herbs (see note above)

1. Toss tomatoes, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and sugar in medium bowl; let stand for 30 minutes. Transfer tomatoes to salad spinner and spin until seeds and excess liquid have been removed, 45 to 60 seconds, stirring to redistribute tomatoes several times during spinning. Return tomatoes to bowl and set aside. Strain tomato liquid through fine-mesh strainer into liquid measuring cup, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible.

2. Bring 1/2 cup tomato liquid (discard any extra), garlic, oregano, shallot, and vinegar to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until reduced to 3 tablespoons, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer mixture to small bowl and cool to room temperature, about 5 minutes. Whisk in oil and pepper to taste until combined. Taste and season with up to 1/8 teaspoon table salt.

3. Add cucumber, olives, cheese, dressing, and herbs to bowl with tomatoes; toss gently and serve.

Step-by-Step: Avoiding Waterlogged Cherry Tomato Salad

1. Spin Spinning the quartered tomatoes in a salad spinner removes excess liquid that can make salad watery. 2. Reduce Simmering the strained tomato liquid creates a concentrated tomato base for the vinaigrette.

1 comment:

hotTamale said...

This looks and sounds amazing. What a great job-- not random at all!! :P