Recipes, FallEdible Boston

Tomato “Pop” Salad Recipe

Recipes, FallEdible Boston

Submitted by Jean Dough of the North Shore, who gets the tomatoes for this recipe from an “area CSA” and picks up a free copy of Edible Boston at Nancy’s Airfield Café in Stow, MA.

I absolutely love the completeness of the tomato. Nothing beats a straight-out-of-the-garden, sun-warmed slice with a dash of salt. I created this recipe to celebrate that experience with an umami boost. The textural component play creates micro changes in the bite and flavor.

Note:  Try to use the best quality ingredients you can find. The balance of flavors is much easier to achieve.

3 medium in-season tomatoes (recommend a variety with a touch of sweetness)

¼ teaspoon sherry vinegar

¼ teaspoon fish sauce

½ teaspoon olive oil

1 cup quinoa

1 teaspoon small fish roe (tobiko, trout, etc.)

Kosher salt or your favorite fine grain artisan salt

Optional: one sun dried tomato

Prepare the quinoa in boiling water according to the cooking instructions on the package. Add a couple pinches of salt to the water. (Optional: Add one sun dried tomato when the water comes to a boil for depth.) Set it aside and allow it to cool to room temperature. Fluff it every now and then to aid in evaporation and cooling.

I recommend mixing with your hands from here on as part of the textural experience.

Combine vinegar, fish sauce and oil in a small bowl for a vinaigrette. Use your finger to mix and emulsify. The amount is too small to use a whisk/fork. As an alternative, scale up and only leave 1 teaspoon of vinaigrette in the bowl.

On a large cutting board, medium dice the tomatoes, very lightly sprinkle with salt (do not overdo) and mix with your fingers. Tomatoes should not taste salty.                                                                                                               

Add 1/3 cup of the cooled quinoa to the small bowl of vinaigrette. Fluff with fingers or fork to combine. The quinoa should be barely coated with the vinaigrette. It should have a briny acidic pop, but not overpowering. Add more quinoa or even vinaigrette to reach this balance.

Sprinkle ¼ cup of dressed quinoa over the tomatoes and mix with your fingers. As required, add more quinoa until you reach approximately 50% surface coverage of the tomato pieces. Remember, tomatoes are the focus here. Sprinkle roe over the tomatoes and transfer to a bowl for service. Limit the transfer of juices so the salad isn’t wet.