Thursday, March 8, 2012

Marinated Winter Tomato Salad Over Baby Kale

If I could have one food wish, I think that it would be that summer tomatoes were available year-round. And I am pretty sure I am not the only one who feels this way. They are so darn good, in the summer months I cannot get enough. But the magic definitely goes away with the warm weather, and in their place we get a sad substitute: the supermarket tomato. They look pretty, but they are very bland otherwise.

This week I found myself with a few extra plum tomatoes that I needed to figure out something to do with. Salad is always an obvious choice, but then the idea hit me, "Why not try marinating the tomatoes?". The results were quite good! The sweetness in the balsamic vinegar really helped boost the flavor in the plum tomatoes. My husband (who is often known to put plastic wrap over his salad and "save it for later"- translation- I eat it for lunch the next day) even liked it so much he went polished off what was left in the bowl at the end of the meal, Success! So happy to have figured out a way to breathe life into the boring supermarket winter tomato, I can't wait to get back to the grocery store and buy some more!

Marinated Winter Tomato Salad Over Baby Kale
~serves 4~

Note: To garnish this salad I made a toasted parmesan wafer known as frico, but you could always just use freshly shaved parmesan instead. To make frico, place small heaps of freshly shredded (using a microplane grater) parmigiano-reggiano in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook 5-10 minutes until melted & golden-brown, being sure to watch carefully that the cheese doesn't burn. Remove wafer with a heat-proof spatula. Allow to cool. Break into pieces over salad.

For the marinated tomatoes:
1 small clove of garlic, minced with a garlic press or grated using a microplane grater
1 t. capers, rinsed, roughly chopped
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1/4 t. dijon mustard
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1 T. minced chives
salt & fresh ground pepper
3 plum tomatoes, ends trimmed, sliced 1/4 inch thick
To finish the salad:
4 c. baby kale leaves
fresh chives, cut into 1 inch pieces
freshly shaved parmesan, or parmesan frico (see note) broken into pieces

1. To make the marinated tomatoes: In a medium bowl, combine garlic, capers, balsamic vinegar & dijon mustard. Whisking constantly, slowly add in the olive oil. Add the chives, season to tasted with salt and fresh ground pepper. Add tomatoes, toss to combine. Let marinate 15 minutes.

2. To finish the salad: On individual plates place 1 c. baby kale leaves. Divide the tomatoes evenly between plates, drizzling each with the tomato marinade/dressing. Garnish with chives and parmesan.


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