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A simple summer tomato vinaigrette comes together quickly and is best enjoyed all summer long.
If you think of the best salad you’ve ever had, and what made it that way? The lettuce? Doubtful. Other veggies? I mean, maybe, depending on what they are. Because cheese and nuts and fried onions can definitely make a salad good.
But what makes it stand out? The dressing, obviously. A good dressing can make a bad salad palatable. But, of course, the opposite is true as well. If you’ve ever had a bowl of beautiful fresh veggies ruined by too vinegary or sweet dressing, you know the pain.
I rarely buy bottled salad dressing. I’ve been burned too many times buying a bottle only to taste it and hate it. There are a few exceptions (I love this Caesar dressing in a pinch) but I make a lot of salad dressings. Especially vinaigrettes. All you need is a jar and some tasting spoons.
I try to recreate a lot of restaurant salad dressings. Some with much success, like this one. It’s the simplest and best dressing and only works in the summer when you can get your hands on juicy, heirloom tomatoes from the farmer’s market or your garden. You want them to be sweet, juicy, but also full of tomato flavor.
You can blend the tomatoes up if you want, but I salted them and let the juice drain because I was making some salsa. If you blend the tomatoes, you’ll get a thicker dressing if that’s your thing.
This is the perfect way to dress up some fresh summer greens to make a simple side salad for dinner. Add some cherry tomatoes (or the chopped-up salted tomatoes) and maybe some sliced red onions. Don’t go overboard on the salad — you want the dressing to shine. Simple is best.
Summer Tomato Vinaigrette
A tomato vinaigrette will become your favorite summer time staple from the first time you make this. Perfect for elevating delicate greens.
Rough chop the tomatoes and sprinkle generously with salt.
Put them in a strainer over a bowl and let sit for 10 minutes, stirring occasional to press the juice out.
Put the juice in a jar with the remaining ingredients. Shake well to combine.
Taste and adjust seasonings.
Use it up: The tomatoes can be used to make salsa, soup, or added to a salad and dressed with the dressing.Storing leftovers: Store leftovers in the fridge but use as quickly as possible for best flavor.Variations: You can sub red or white wine vinegar for the balsamic if you’d like.