Mediterranean tomato salad

Salads: Food Writers' FavoritesSalads: Food Writers’ Favorites, 128pp.
edited by Barbara Gibbs Ostmann and Jane Baker
Dial Publishing, 1991
Cooking on page 32

Food writers from across the USA contributed their favorite salad recipes for this book, which was originally produced as a fundraiser for the grassroots support organisation, Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Introductory pages of the book explain MADD’s history (it’s been going for 35 years), purpose, programs and services, and legislative goals.

This page-32 recipe comes from Leona Carlson, a retired food writer for the Rockford Register Star in Rockford Illinois.

Mediterranean salad

Mediterranean tomato salad

1 clove garlic
3 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
12 pitted black olives, halved
3/4 cup cubed feta cheese
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Mediterranean salad

Halve garlic; rub a large salad bowl with a half of garlic. Discard garlic. Combine tomatoes, olives and cheese in salad bowl. Add vinegar, oil, oregano and thyme; toss to mix well. Season with salt and pepper.

Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, to let the flavors blend. Let salad stand at room temperature 1 or 2 hours before serving.

Note: If desired, drain some of the dressing before serving. Thoroughly drain leftovers before storing in the refrigerator.

How it played out
Made half a batch of this, as written, and then started to tinker. For starters, I used 10 olives because 6 looked pretty lonely in the bowl, and I crumbled the feta because I like the look of it.

Salad dressing

Luckily I prepared the dressing separately because I anticipated that it would be too oily for my tastes. So I made a dressing of 1/4 cup of oil, 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon each of the herbs, and I crushed in the garlic clove too. There was way too much dressing so I added only about half to the salad.

I love all these flavours and while I thought there was too much oil (personal preference), the taste was quite good. Especially liked the addition of thyme.

In future, and yes I’ll make this again, I’ll add some diced cucumber and cut back on the oil by a another tablespoon. Will also drain off most of the dressing before serving.



About leggypeggy

Intrepid overland traveller, keen photographer, avid cook—known to jump out of airplanes and do other silly things. Do not act my age.
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6 Responses to Mediterranean tomato salad

  1. threeovens says:

    We loved this salad. I gave it to my husband to share and I turned around and he ate the whole thing! Luckily, our garden is still prodigiously producing tomatoes, so we can make it again.

    • leggypeggy says:

      Good to know you have plenty of supplies. This is a great salad and well worth frequent appearances at the table. Thanks for making it and for the lovely comment.

  2. Susie D says:

    This was a hit with my diners! Simple and lets the tomatoes shine. I used a mix of garden tomatoes- beefsteak, yellow pear, and cherry tomatoes. I didn’t add the additional salt and found with the feta and olives it worked fine for us. I followed your suggestion and only used 1/4 cup of oil. Thank you for sharing the recipe! Made for Culinary Quest 2016.

    • leggypeggy says:

      Like you, Susie, I think this works especially well with a mix of tomatoes and not so much oil. Glad you like the addition of feta too. Good tip to leave out the salt. Thanks for making it and for your lovely comment.

  3. Kathy D says:

    My verdict = delicious! It was funny, I hadn’t read your “How it played out” until after I made the recipe, but I had done the same thing as you by adding less olive oil and then draining the finished product before serving. The flavor was fantastic. Even my son, not a huge fan of tomatoes, loved it. I will be making this often with my garden tomatoes. Thank you!

    • leggypeggy says:

      Oh my, it is funny that you did what I did without reading ahead. Same minds! Enjoy your tomatoes. It’s winter now in Australia, so I have to wait for mine.

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