One of the highlights of going to the farmers market at the height of summer is picking out tomatoes. There are tables full of them, all shapes, colors and sizes. And as soon as you fill up a big paper bag with them, you walk a few feet further and find another stand with even more varieties at a lower price. What can you do except buy bags and bags of tomatoes?!
Of course, then the problem is using them up. Because if you happen to buy tomatoes when they’re at the peak of ripeness, they go bad fast! Homemade pasta sauce is always a winner and you can’t go wrong with making your own sun-dried tomatoes, but when you don’t feel like cooking, this Farm Table Tomato Salad is perfect.
With local summer tomatoes, you really only need a few other ingredients to make a show-stopper of a salad: in this case, a vinaigrette made with red wine vinegar, some salt and pepper, pine nuts, sumac, and fresh mint leaves.
This recipe comes from John Gregory-Smith’s Saffron in the Souks. While the cookbook is not strictly vegetarian, there’s an abundance of veg-friendly Lebanese recipes included: Smashed Lemon Chickpeas, Syrian Spaghetti with Pomegranate and Lentils, and Orzo and Feta Stuffed Peppers are all on my list to try. The beautiful photographs and Middle Eastern flavors will inspire you to run to the kitchen and start cooking!
Purchase Saffron in the Souks: Vibrant Recipes from the Heart of Lebanon on Amazon and grab the Farm Table Tomato Salad recipe below.
Farm Table Tomato Salad
Yield 4-6 servings
Recipe reprinted from Saffron in the Souks: Vibrant Recipes from the Heart of Lebanon by John Gregory-Smith, with permission from Kyle Books.
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 18 ounces different sized and colored tomatoes, sliced into rounds (or halves for small cherry tomatoes)
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 1/2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
- 1/2 teaspoon sumac
- A small handful of torn mint leaves
- Using a mortar and pestle, bash the garlic into a paste with a little salt. Add the olive oil and red wine vinegar and mix into a thick dressing.
- Arrange the tomatoes onto a serving plate and season with a little salt and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the top and garnish the tomatoes with pine nuts, sumac, and mint leaves. Serve immediately.