Greek Cherry Tomato Salad

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Chef Christopher Kimball is one of my favorite Chefs.  You might know him from Cook’s Illustrated, America’s Test Kitchen or you may have attended one of his live demonstrations.  Once you have tried one of his recipes, you know what it is to be a gourmet cook.  No matter what cooking level you are, Chef Kimball shows you step-by-step how to make gourmet recipes.  He has tested all the ingredients, substituting them, changing measurements of ingredients, and tells you all that can go wrong with the recipe.  He teaches you techniques that will make your dish a beautiful success.  My husband calls him a food scientist.

Greek Cherry Tomato SaladYou may think there are a lot of steps, or preparation to this recipe, but if you hang in there and do all the steps, you will be rewarded with a lot of compliments.

There is a natural sweetness from tomatoes picked fresh out of your own backyard garden, picked at the perfect vine-ripened stage.

Chef Kimball has tested the recipe using several different techniques and has found the best way to remove the sogginess from all the juice of the tomatoes, without losing any of the delicious flavor.

Greek Cherry Tomato Salad

Ingredients

4 cups cherry tomatoes, ripe, quartered
Table salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
3 tablespoons shallot, minced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Ground black pepper
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Instructions

Toss tomatoes, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and sugar in medium bowl; let stand for 30 minutes. Transfer tomatoes to salad spinner and spin until seeds and excess liquid have been removed, 45 to 60 seconds, stirring to redistribute tomatoes several times during spinning. Return tomatoes to bowl and set aside. Strain tomato liquid through fine-mesh strainer into liquid measuring cup, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible. (Spinning the quartered tomatoes in a salad spinner removes excess liquid that can make salad watery.

Bring 1/2 cup tomato liquid (discard any extra), garlic, oregano, shallot, and vinegar to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until reduced to 3 tablespoons, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer mixture to small bowl and cool to room temperature, about 5 minutes. Whisk in oil and pepper to taste until combined. Taste and season with up to 1/8 teaspoon table salt. (Simmering the strained tomato liquid creates a concentrated tomato base for the vinaigrette.)

Add cucumber, olives, feta, dressing, and parsley to the bowl with tomatoes; toss gently and serve.