This is my version of the tomato salad that my friend Esther always used to make. Unfortunately she passed away much too young. Today would have been her 14th wedding anniversary, so I thought it an appropriate day to tell you about this recipe in her memory.
Esther loved to cook and unfortunately we haven’t cooked much together because we lived too far apart and only saw each other about twice a year. Although her birthday was in February, she liked to celebrate this in summer with a BBQ and she usually made a tomato salad with basil, red onion, olive oil, balsamic, salt, and black pepper. I always loved this salad, and so I started making this myself.
It is difficult to find tasty tomatoes in many countries, because tomatoes have been ‘optimized’ for shelf life, having an unblemished skin, growing quickly, ripening evenly, etc. rather than for taste. I always use the aptly named ‘tasty toms’ tomatoes for this salad. I further enhance the flavor by salting the tomatoes and getting rid of excess water. The added advantage of using this type of tomatoes is that they are small and thus fit into the feeding shaft of my food processor, making it a lot easier to slice dozens of tomatoes.
For about 4 cups (1 liter) of tomato salad
1.5 kg (3.3 lbs) tomatoes, preferably ones with taste
1 small red onion
freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
Rinse and dry the tomatoes. Cut them into thin slices. I use the food processor for this, making sure to stop and start the food processor for each batch of 3-4 tomatoes and pressing down on them to slice them evenly.
Taste and add additional salt, freshly ground black pepper, extra virgin olive oil or balsamic vinegar if needed.