Tomato Salad With Anchovy Vinaigrette

Accidental Locavore Tomato SaladThe only time the Accidental Locavore has been truly crazy about anchovies was years ago at  Chez Panisse. Other than that, I use them for cooking and make sure there are not big, stinky, pieces floating around. So I was curious and a little leery when this recipe for tomatoes with anchovy vinaigrette started popping up. Why would anyone want to ruin a good tomato (especially when the season is so short)? But even salad caprese has its limitations so I gave it a shot. This was originally from Food & Wine and serves 4. Use good quality olive oil and vinegar here.

  • 1 medium shallot, cut in half lengthwise, then thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 anchovies, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 pounds assorted heirloom tomatoes—large ones sliced, small ones halved
  • 1 teaspoon Maldon Salt, or more to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • About 8 basil leaves, thinly sliced (chiffonade), for serving

Accidental Locavore Making DressingIn a small bowl, toss the shallot with the vinegar and let stand for at least 10 minutes.

Arrange the tomatoes on 4 plates, or in a large serving bowl. Scatter the shallot and vinegar over the tomatoes.

In a small skillet, over medium-low heat, combine the olive oil, anchovies, garlic and lemon zest.

Warm the dressing to a gentle simmer; stir, mashing the anchovies slightly and let simmer 2 minutes.  Pour over the tomatoes and toss gently to combine. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Scatter the basil over the salad, serve and enjoy!

My verdict: I’ve made this twice in a week, so you can tell it was well received! The first time, the anchovies were a little too assertive for my taste, so the next go-round, I cooked them a little longer, letting them “melt” into the oil. If you’re an anchovy fan, mince them in bigger pieces and just let the oil warm. What made this a great dish was the crunch of shallots in contrast to the ripe tomatoes, with the lemon zest adding a bright note. Add in a few great tomatoes and this is a fabulous salad!

 

 

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