Les Trois Mousquetaires or Three Summer Salads…Part 1

As summer winds down, Labor Day looms, and the first underlying freshness in the air appears I long to savor and hold onto the simple summer salads that are at their best now…they are easy and the most important criterium is the freshness of the ingredients…although I have fooled some “foodies” with the salad below…

Make all three.  They are a great addition to a summer buffet. 

Here they are all for one and one for all in three parts:

Red Onion and Tomato Salad:

Aramis, no doubt…

Take a few good-sized ripe tomatoes, I like the color mix of a red and two yellows, or the inverse.  Wash them, and with a sharp paring knife take out the stem end.  It should come out in a little cone.  Place the tomato stem side down, cut three thick slices from the tip to the stem.  Note: if you were making a tomato mozzarella salad, you would cut them on the equator.  Place the cut slices flesh down, and cut them into thick cubes.  They need not be uniform.  Take a half red onion, or a whole if you like onions.  You will find the proportions of tomato and onion you like through trial and error.  Here is where you get to make a choice.  It is like being a big-ender or a little-ender, or an and Almond Joy vs. Mounds.  You can either cut the onion into a small brunoise or thin slices.  Either way you go is fine.  The brunoise gives the salad a more slaw-like texture with oinion crunch, and the slices a more distinct onion and tomato separation making for a purer juice. 

Put the ingredients in the bowl you intend to serve it in, a nice white porcelain bowl is good.  It has to be a bowl, because you get a lot of juice.  Add a quarter cup to a third cup good olive oil, a lot of ground pepper, and a GENEROUS, and I do mean GENEROUS amount of good salt.  What is good salt?  Not any fine iodized salt to be sure!  I am also not crazy for the big coarse salt in this salad as it isn’t pleasant to chew on salt crystals.  I use a simple Kosher kitchen salt.  Mix everything together, cover with a plate, and the KEY here is to let it sit for at least twenty-five minutes.  You can stir it again after ten.  You can let it sit for longer too.  Note: there is NO vinegar.  The salt and tomato acid is all you need.  Do not add herbs or anything else, at least not the first time you make it.  I serve it as a summer side salad.  The next day, it becomes a simple gazpacho.  I drink the tomato water.  I have also used it as a base on a plate for a piece of grilled fish, spoon the juices on top.  You will be surprised at how good and sweet the salad is, even the onion is sweet because of the salt. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 I made it once with the winter hothouse tomatoes, cut the tomato into bigger chinks and let it sit for a few hours.  It was very good, and I fooled a friend by saying that they were grown in Chile and sent to me Fedex.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Food and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s