Tomato season is upon us. This is the time when countless gardens across the Boyle Street and McCauley neighbourhoods, and the rest of Edmonton, produce a variety of fruits and vegetables. One of the more popular vegetables to grow is tomatoes. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and science, tomatoes are fruit. However, in North America we tend to cook and use tomatoes like a vegetable.
To start, choose quality tomatoes that are plump, ripe yet firm, smooth skinned, and fragrant with a sweet smell. For this recipe, on-the-vine or heirloom tomatoes are the most suitable.
Using canola oil instead of extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) will give the salad an odd taste. Keep in mind that a good tomato salad is based on the quality of the tomatoes.
This salad is vegan, but you can add goat feta or sliced bocconcini if you like the taste of cheese and tomato (and the salad is still suitable for vegetarians). As much as I love cheese, I do find that it does takes away from the refreshing taste of the tomatoes. If you are a garlic lover, you can also add minced garlic.
This is a salad that tastes best when the flavours have had time to marinate for a minimum of 4-6 hours and it can be eaten with chicken, fish, or steak. For vegetarians and vegans, the salad can be combined with couscous or quinoa. For a quick snack, it can be eaten with pita bread.
*Herbs that go well with tomato salad: parsley, dill, basil, oregano.
The measurements listed above can all be adjusted according to taste.
Place tomatoes, onions, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Pour over with EVOO and red wine vinegar then mix together in the bowl. Next add the herbs. If you choose to include feta or bocconcini, add this last. Toss well so the tomatoes are covered.
Yovella is a former resident of McCauley who still works and volunteers in the area.