Loads of ripe tomatoes, a punchy vinaigrette, salami, red onion, black olives and fresh basil makes for a tasty Salami Tomato Salad. Summer cooking for hungry carnivores!
Actual conversation in our kitchen on a hot summer day. Thirty-five degrees Celsius, plus a humidex factor of 70%. It’s too way hot to cook. It’s even too hot to BBQ, I’m thinking cold chicken when to my surprise:
Him:Honey, I’m making dinner tonight. (As he plunks down freshly bought ingredients on the counter.) Me:Oh… wow. (This is a rare occasion.) What are we having? Him:Salad.
Flash forward 30 minutes when he places a (beautiful) plate of charcuterie, mixed with Roma tomatoes, olives, onion and fresh basil (from our garden) lightly dressed in a mustard vinaigrette in front of me… with a warm baguette on the side.
Me: I thought you said we were having salad? Him:What?! There’s tomatoes. It IS salad!
Salad, Built for a Man
The result, Summer Salami Tomato Salad, has come to be called “Man Salad” at our house. Like a sub sandwich, but without all those pesky complex carbohydrates.
Clean and simple, served cold, cold, COLD, it’s the perfect high protein (man) salad on a hot summer day and into the long, cooler days of fall. Perfect use for that bumper crop of tomatoes you’re harvesting.
Mix and Toss
If you desperately need some sort of lettuce to validate the ‘salad’ title, go with a baby romaine mix or a romaine/rodicio or perhaps arugula for it’s peppery qualities. This quickly became a go-to salad over the summer. Even better the next day, once the red wine vinegar had a chance to soften the thinly sliced red onion.
The fresh basil is what truly makes Summer Salami Tomato Salad stand out. You can smell it before you taste it. So fresh, cold and deeply satisfying. We kept this dairy free but it yearns to be served with shavings of fresh Parmesan or be accompanied by a bowl of marinated fresh mozzarella with crusty bread for a true taste of Italiana.
Ripe tomatoes, a punchy vinaigrette, salami, red onion, black olives, and fresh basil makes for a tasty Summer Salami Tomato Salad, or, as it’s known in our house “Man Salad”.
20 slices, dry salami
4 – 6 Roma tomatoes
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup black olives
1/4 cup basil, chiffonade (very thinly sliced)
⅓ cup olive oil (or vegetable oil)
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 medium shallot, diced
1 clove garlic, finely diced
salt & pepper to taste
Cut sliced salami into six wedges, like a pie. Toss that in a bowl.
Depending on the size of your tomatoes, cut them first lengthwise, then in half again, lengthwise and finally into thirds or fourths. Think ‘bite-sized-chunks’. Toss into the bowl with the salami.
Peel and slice onion and cut into quarters. Shave very thin slices, cutting through the bulb and not across the curve. This creates long, thin pieces with a slight curve instead of half -circles. Toss into the bowl.
Slice olives, throw them in too. Reserve salad cold.
Mix vinaigrette: 1. In a medium bowl combine minced shallots, garlic, red wine and mustard. Whisk to combine. Slowly incorporate your oil, whisking briskly as you go until Dijon vinaigrette is smooth and opaque, not runny, broken and loose. Season to taste, reserve cold until ready to serve. Or, add ingredients into a deep measuring cup and zip it with your immersion blender until creamy, about two minutes.
Cut basil, across the leaf, into a very fine strands. Reserve a few whole, to finish. Toss into the cold salad. Now drizzle with vinaigrette and little at a time until all your components are JUST covered. Taste, season, and lightly toss. Serve immediately.
Be sure your knife is razor sharp for thin cuts, particularly the basil, otherwise it just tears. If you prefer, tear it, but always add it at the very end otherwise it will go black while it waits.
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Cooking in her home kitchen just outside Ottawa, Canada; Cori Horton is a food photographer, recipe blogger and Food Business Consultant. A Cordon Bleu-trained Chef, Cori spent five years as the owner of Nova Scotia's Dragonfly Inn, ten years in catering, and has been sharing all things delicious - right here - since 2010.