I just love this time of year - we've discussed this already in terms of fresh herbs. I was still working through some fresh basil this weekend and wanted to do something with the trillions of tomatoes that my parents grow in their driveway on the years that I don't run over the plants as soon as they are planted.
I've gotten better at backing out of their driveway now that they've lived in the same house for 7 years. It took me a minute to get the hang of it.
So, I wanted to use tomatoes. And, I recently stayed in a hotel for work that had a great tomato and blue cheese salad with pickled onions that made it really tangy and special. I love anything pickled, so I created:
Pickled Onion and Tomato Salad
First, I pickled the onions. I know nothing about pickling, so I did some things that involved salt and sugar and vinegar and called it pickling. If you have some fabulous way to pickle onions that I don't know about tell me - I'm interested in vinegary things.
While your onions are starting to get warm and maybe even, gasp, sizzle a little (that's a good thing), gather sugar, vinegar (I used white but go nuts if you have something fancier - apple cider vinegar would be great) and celery salt. Ready? Go.
No matter how many onions you have (we're going with ratios here), barely cover them with vinegar. If the pan is hot the vinegar will boil and stink up your whole house and then your boyfriend will run out of the kitchen proclaiming that you are making "b.o. onions." Just ignore him and keep cooking. To the onionsbarelycoveredinvinegar, add one teaspoon of sugar and one half teaspoon of celery salt and turn off the stove. Stir everything together and taste the onions to see if you want more celery salt or sugar - I added more sugar because I think it's a nice contrast to the salty vinegar. The onions won't be cooked, just barely translucent from allowing the vinegar to come to a boil. Transfer the pickles to the fridge in a covered container, or continue making your salad.
Chop or tear the basil and add it to the salad, then mix everything together and TASTE YOUR FOOD to see if you want to add more salt and pepper. Then eat lots of it and be happy that it is summer.
Especially when it's so hot outside, it's great to have a fat-free salad that essentially makes its own dressing with the tomato juice, onions, and salt and pepper. You could use these onions on anything and certainly switch the herbs around in the salad for variation. It would go especially well alongside Dredged Chicken. Enjoy!