3-Way Tomato Salad

I get it. There is a LOT of cooking going on. So the best thing to do is find ways to elevate simple ingredients so you can easily create a dish that is equally exciting and approachable. This dish started with a couple boxes of these beautiful Heirloom baby tomatoes and I looked around my pantry to find a way to double, and then triple-down, on the tomato flavor. I have mentioned this Trentasette Red Pesto but a little bit of this magic ingredient goes a long way. The little bit of truffle doesn’t hurt either.

SHOPPING LIST: grape tomatoes (Heirloom, if available), sun-dried tomatoes in oil, kalamata olives, gorgonzola cheese, balsamic vinegar, Trentasette Red Pesto, salt, pepper

All you need is a cutting board. First, slice your grape tomatoes in half. You want about 2 cups of grape tomatoes. Next, remove your sun-dried tomatoes from the oil, slice about 15 of them in half and add them to your grape tomatoes. Then, pour about 2 tB. worth of the marinating oil into a separate bowl to reserve for your tomato dressing! Then you’re going to slice 1/2 cup of your kalamata olives in half. Add 1/2 cup of crumbled gorgonzola cheese and then let’s finish that dressing we talked about.

You have 2 tB. of the reserved sun-dried tomato olive oil. Add 1 tB. of balsamic vinegar and then 2 tB. of the aforementioned red pesto (p.s. the “RED” comes from sun-dried tomatoes so there is your THIRD tomato element). Mix well and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss the tomatoes, olives and gorgonzola in your tomato vinaigrette. I like to pop this BACK in the fridge for a few minutes before serving so it’s nice and chilled. If you’re an onion fan, some sliced red onion would go a LONG way in this salad (but for the sake of making my husband happy, as usual, I left them out).

I also want to add that for a LONG time I thought I didn’t like sun-dried tomatoes – I thought their flavor lingered and was over-powering. Then my girlfriend introduced me to the tomatoes in oil on the Olive Bar at Whole Foods and I became addicted. In quarantine, I realized that sun-dried tomatoes IN OIL are much much different than the the dry version you get in a plastic container. They might not be as garlicky as the Whole Foods version but they are certainly delicious and as you can see from the recipe above, even the oil they are preserved in has awesome applications in it’s own right!

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