Tomato “Pop” Salad Recipe

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.

Recipes, FallEdible Boston