While visiting my grandkids (and my son and daughter-in-law, too) in Winston-Salem, NC last week, I jumped at the chance to use a gift certificate I’d received at Christmas for Green Gate Olive Oils. What a great store! We had a ball tasting the delicious olive oils and the amazing balsamic vinegars. Even the grandkids loved the vinegars — the big hit was the one that tasted just like fresh strawberries.
I had my selections shipped home to Michigan, and when I got the package and opened the Chipotle Olive Oil and the Maple Syrup Balsamic Vinegar, I suddenly had SUCH a craving for a fresh tomato salad with these two taste delights drizzled all over it — and I don’t even care much for fresh tomatoes!
So here’s the recipe I came up with, and I’m telling y’all, it’s amazing. If you haven’t tried flavored vinegars or flavored olive oils, you are missing out on a true taste treat. You can probably substitute in this recipe any olive oils or balsamic vinegars you like, but listed below are the ones I used.
Mix this up first so the flavors can blend together while you’re making the salad:
2 T. Chipotle Olive Oil
1 tsp. White Truffle Olive Oil
2 tsp. Oregano and Basil Balsamic Vinegar
2 T. Maple Syrup Balsamic Vinegar (this is a must-have in my book. Delish!!)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 T. chopped fresh basil
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
Mix all ingredients in a jar and put the cap on it. Shake, shake, shake until the oils and vinegars emulsify and the salt dissolves. Set aside.
Tomato Salad Ingredients
6 Ripe Roma Tomatoes
3 Ripe Heirloom Tomatoes of different colors (I used purple and yellow)
1 C. Ripe Grape Tomatoes
1/2 Large Red Onion
1 C. (or more, if you want) Pitted Kalamata Olives
- Slice all the tomatoes except the grape tomatoes in thin wedges and place in a large bowl.
- Halve the grape tomatoes lengthwise and place in the bowl.
- Thinly slice the red onion, and then halve the slices so the pieces aren’t too long and unwieldy. Place in bowl.
- Strain Kalamata olives and place in the bowl with the other ingredients.
- Pour marinade/dressing over all and mix carefully with a large spoon to coat all the ingredients. Mix from the bottom up to try to keep the tomato slices intact.
- Refrigerate for at least two hours, but stop by the fridge every 20 minutes or so to mix the salad (carefully) so the ingredients each get a fair shake at absorbing the marinade.
- Serve chilled in a bowl, a plate by itself, or let your guests dig in! If you serve it already dished up, be sure to use a large spoon to get some of the marinade from the bottom of the bowl to drizzle over the top of the salad just before you serve it.
NOTE: I think this would be great with some sliced strawberries mixed in it.