John taught a grilling class at The Hill Center last weekend. Beautiful day, great location — a devoted group of grillers learned how to make barbequed beer-can chicken, grilled shrimp, grilled beets and other tasty late-summer treats.
One of the sleeper hits was the tomato salad. It’s easy, and it’s the perfect way celebrate the final really good tomatoes of the season. Make it soon, before summer is totally gone.
- 2 ½ lb tomatoes
- Pinch each of kosher salt and black pepper
- Pinch of sugar
- 2 medium cucumbers
- 1/2 large red onion
- 30 fresh basil leaves, large leaves torn in half
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- Black pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
Cut out center core of the tomatoes and slice lengthwise into 6-8 wedges. Cut each wedge in half crosswise (you want large, but still bite-size, chunks). Place the tomatoes in a large bowl and wake them up with a big pinch of salt, pepper and sugar; stir. Cut the ends off the cucumbers and use a vegetable peeler to make long stripes in the skin, leaving some skin on. Cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds and then crosswise into 1/4-inch slices. Add to the tomatoes. Peel the onion and cut lengthwise into slivers. Put the onions in with the tomatoes and cucumbers and give a good stir.
Clean and dry the basil and mint leaves, and stir into salad.
For the dressing, whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Pour over the salad. Marinate the salad at room temperature for several hours. It will release a lot of great juices that are delicious, so it may be better to serve this salad in a bowl. Refrigerate any leftovers.