There are really only 4 good reasons to make this salad. The first reason – it is more of a condiment than a true salad. In other words, you don’t have to make a huge bowl to fulfil the “salad or veggie requirement” in your meal. With this salad, an average serving would only be about half a cup. 2nd reason – it’s quick and easy to prepare. Number 3 – it is best made ahead of time. 4th, but absolutely not the last reason – this salad is beautiful to look at!
I started making what I refer to as “little condiment salads” probably 25 years ago. This was after my kids were out of the house and I wanted just that extra little flavor sensation to spice up an otherwise ordinary meal. (You know, the basic three course dinner – meat, starch, and veggie or salad. The holy trinity of dinner preparation.) So long ago I decided, that in some cases, a little dish of something delightful, like this tomato salad, was just the ticket. And I’ve been making this salad, or a variation (see below) ever since.
So next time you feel the meal you are planning needs a little extra touch to make it even better, give this “condiment” a try. You will love the fresh flavor and the vibrant color. Or if you know you are going to have one heck of a day, make your salad the evening before. The salad is not going to wilt or grow soggy. (That’s your job after a hard day!) In fact, it will simply be in your fridge waiting for your tired body to throw some rice in your rice cooker and cook up some pork chops. Then when the rice and chops are ready, you need merely open the fridge, take out the salad and sit down to a lovely meal. I hope you enjoy this salad as much as we do.
You know, I almost missed the most important reason you should prepare this salad. Reason number 5 – this salad is just plain delicious!
- 3 T. extra virgin olive oil
- scant 2 T. chopped fresh parsley
- 2 T. finely chopped fresh chives
- 1 T. finely chopped white or yellow onion
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced
- 1 tsp. coarse salt (I use half kosher and half smoked black pepper, but any coarse salt will do)
- freshly ground black pepper
- heaping 2 c. cherry tomatoes (red or orange) cut in half
Whisk together the olive oil, parsley, chives, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. Gently stir in the tomatoes. Best made ahead of time to allow flavors to meld. Serve cold.
Variation: Use any of the following in place of or mixed with tomatoes: cucumber, celery, carrot, avocado, red pepper, etc. Also basil or mint can be added, along with feta cheese. A bit of fresh lemon juice is also a lovely addition. Basically any combination that appeals. The point is to keep the salad small and more of a condiment than a bowl of salad.