Sweet vine-ripened tomatoes, the gems of summer, make the perfect base for salads. From Kenya comes this recipe that pairs tomatoes with red onions, cilantro, chile, and lime juice. Visually attractive and packed with flavor, this salad is the perfect side dish for summer entertaining. Tonight, those incredible flavors will marry beautifully with the fish tacos I’m serving!
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1 lb firm and ripe tomatoes, sliced or diced
1-1½ red onions, very thinly sliced
4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 chile, sliced (optional)
1-2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Place the tomatoes into a medium salad bowl with the onions. Stir in the chopped cilantro.
2. Drizzle with the olive oil and stir in the chile, if using. Season and gradually add the lemon or lime juice to taste.
1. One pound of tomatoes is approximately 2.5 large tomatoes. For this recipe I used about two pounds of assorted tomatoes (cherry, heirloom, and beefsteak).
2. I cut the cherry tomatoes in half from top to bottom, but the larger tomatoes, I sliced crosswise into rounds.
3. Because I sliced them into rounds, I gently mixed the salad in a large pan instead of a bowl. This salad is attractive when arranged on a platter.
4. I used half of a red onion instead of a whole one and I’m glad I did. Even with this reduced amount, there were a lot of onions in this salad.
5. Here are some tips from Craig Kielburger, the contributor of this recipe to the cookbook: If you prefer a milder onion flavor, rinse the onion slices in hot salty water before putting them in the salad. This will ensure the onion is less harsh on the palate. Squeeze the lemon or lime juice into the salad just before serving to avoid sogginess. If the tomato and onion are chopped more finely, this recipe also works well as a homemade salsa.
6. The chile is optional, but its heat adds a nice flavor dimension to the salad.