Nana's Tomato Salad
This dish was a centerpiece of summer dinners in my childhood. My grandmother would always bring a fresh tomato salad when we dined together as a family, or packed a picnic lunch for a day at a local reservoir. It took me a whole summer as a young adult to find the right balance of ingredients to re-create the taste memory of those childhood meals. But you should be able to enjoy it right away – just adjust the amounts to suit your palate.
Summer-fresh, ripe tomatoes (any kind), cut into small wedges
Red onion, sliced thin
Garlic - 1-2 cloves, minced (or more, depending on your preference)
Fresh basil, chopped fine (can substitute pesto is no fresh basil is available)
Salt (to taste)
Splash of water
Olive oil (to taste)
Since this is my grandmother’s recipe, I don’t have exact amounts for you – experiment and see what you like best! I do, however, have a few tips:
Only make this in the summer, when you have access to fresh, perfectly ripe tomatoes – the kind that make you sigh with pleasure when you slice into them.
After cutting the tomatoes, add a generous amount of salt and a splash of water to get the tomatoes to release some of their juice. Note – you might be surprised by how much salt you’ll add. Just remember to taste the juice and not just the tomatoes when tasting for salt levels.
Let it sit for at least an hour for the flavors to combine and the salad to get juicy
Serve by itself or with some fresh, crusty bread (for dipping)