If “salad” means leafy greens to you, you’re missing out on a vast global repertoire of salads built on grains, pasta, beans and seafood. Many of the world’s tastiest salads don’t contain a single lettuce leaf.
For some fresh salad ideas for everyday meals, venture beyond greens and look for inspiration in underutilized ingredients like farro, couscous, bulgur and pearled barley; lentils, beans and chick peas; shrimp, smoked trout and canned tuna. Play around with pasta shapes like orecchiette and orzo, and stock your pantry with high-flavor salad additions such as anchovies, capers, harissa, tahini and olives. Good extra virgin olive oil and an assortment of vinegars can fuel your creativity with dressings.
Tomatoes add juiciness and appetizing color to these non-leafy salads. Small, compact tomatoes like Cherubs, Glorys and SunBursts work best; they hold up well in salads and won’t dilute your dressing. Combine red and gold types for extra eye appeal.
Here are a few tips for creating successful salads that don’t rely on greens.
Watch chef Adam Busby make Cherry Tomato Caprese Pasta Salad. If you like his recipe, make it yours the next time by substituting canned tuna for the bocconcini.
Tomato Sandwiches: Every ’Wich Way
Sliced tomatoes are to sandwiches what butter is to toast—not required, but highly recommended. A good, juicy tomato makes almost every sandwich better, but most tomatoes are too big for the task. You know what happens: you use half of one and the other half languishes in the fridge. A week later it’s still there—mushy and unusable.
Jubilees tomatoes eliminate the waste because they’re bred to be “sandwich size.” One tomato = one sandwich.
Grown year round, they have ripe-red color, juicy texture and sun-sweet flavor consistently. So, sandwich fans, you don’t need to settle for those hard, pale, cottony globes that pass for tomatoes in winter. Jubilees elevate sandwiches and burgers in every season. Need some ideas?
Raid your supermarket’s salad bar for the ingredients for these creations. All you need to add is bread and tomatoes.
Watch Culinary Institute of America chef Adam Busby demonstrate two more sandwiches that showcase Jubilee tomatoes. His crusty Grilled Tomato and Mozzarella Sandwich will have you improvising variations (with goat cheese? with pepper jack?). And his BLT Sliders are party worthy. Bet you can’t eat just one.
NatureSweet Glorys are the “cooking tomato”. You can stir-fry them, simmer them or roast them. They even stand up to the grill. Which makes them ideal for kebabs and other skewered creations—or for stovetop grill-pan cooking. And because they are harvested every week of the year, with full color and ripe taste, you can enjoy them even when the grilling moves indoors.
With the following fresh ideas, you can make dinner into a year-round grillfest.
Skewer Glorys with…
You don’t need to leave your home to visit a Spanish-style tapas bar. You can open your own. Start by stocking your bar with chilled fino sherry and cava (sparkling wine); a dry Spanish white wine like Albariño or Verdejo; a young, fruity red wine like Garnacha; and a favorite beer.For the tapas, prepare an assortment of banderillas, the colorful skewered appetizers popular in Spanish bars. Small tomatoes like Glorys, SunBursts and Cherubs are ideal for banderillas. In the Spanish spirit, skewer the tomatoes with a variety of pickled, marinated and cured foods. Alternate colors for eye appeal and keep all the components small. A banderilla should be consumed in one or two bites so that you experience the contrast in textures and flavors. Toothpicks are fine, but decorative cocktail picks will earn you some style points.Suggested ingredients for your banderillas? Glorys, SunBursts and Cherubs Tomatoes paired with:
Once you’ve assembled the skewers, you can moisten them with vinaigrette. Many banderillas can be made hours ahead and refrigerated, but bring them to room temperature for serving.
In southern Italy, where sunshine is plentiful and tomatoes abundant, many gardeners sun-dry some of their summer harvest for winter use. The blazing sun evaporates moisture, so the leathery tomatoes can be stored for months.Americans fell hard for sun-dried tomatoes in the 1980s—and then just as quickly decided that they were passé and overused. The chewy tomatoes became a cliché, and trend-conscious chefs moved on. Enter oven-dried tomatoes, a juicier, tastier and more versatile variation that home cooks can prepare in hours. You don’t need a dehydrator. You don’t even need sun. These tomatoes are moister than sun-dried tomatoes, with a sweet, highly concentrated flavor. Although they aren’t dried enough to store, they have much more intensity than fresh tomatoes. When you want that heightened tomato taste without a lot of juice—in a thick spread or dip, for example—look to oven-dried tomatoes for the job.Chef Adam Busby has developed an easy method for drying small tomatoes—such as Glorys, SunBursts or Cherubs—in a home oven. Chef Busby adds these tiny flavor nuggets to tapenade, the Provençal olive spread, to boost the umami without thinning the texture. Watch Chef Busy make Oven-Dried Tomato Tapenade.Tomato Tapenade makes a creative condiment for a cheese board, as Chef Busby shows. Some other suggestions:
Italy’s beloved pizza margherita proves that tomatoes and cheese bring out the best in each other. Cheese provides the salt that tomatoes can’t do without, and tomatoes, high in acidity, cut through the richness. The duo delights us again and again: in insalata caprese, everybody’s favorite summer salad of tomatoes, mozzarella and basil; in horiatiki, the inspired Greek salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, feta and olives; and in that everyday bowl of tomato-sauced penne, incomplete without a shower of Parmigiano or pecorino. Wherever tomatoes go, cheese often follows. In Provence, cooks pipe seasoned goat cheese into hollowed cherry tomatoes, the perfect pre-dinner nibble with a brisk dry rosé. The same pairing makes this Tomato Tart with Herbed Goat Cheese so appealing. Serve in thin slices as an hors d’oeuvre or in larger portions with a green salad for lunch.In the Greek kitchen, fresh tomatoes accompany feta in so many ways: tomato and bulgur soup garnished with grated feta; twice-baked rusks blanketed with chopped tomato, capers and feta; fried eggplants topped with feta and tomato sauce and baked. In this video demo of Baked Feta with Chopped Olives, Herbs and Tomato, you’ll discover another delectable Greek way to marry tomato and cheese.Fresh tomatoes can elevate your cheese board, too. Serve burrata with oven-roasted tomatoes, or ricotta topped with garlicky sautéed SunBursts tomatoes. The British classic, Cheddar with chutney, can also inspire creative riffs like this Baked Camembert with Sweet and Spicy Tomato Chutney and Candied Walnuts. A few other ideas for uniting tomato and cheese:
As far as knowing about the tomato’s origin, Americans firmly believe that tomatoes originated in Italy (nearly 50%) instead of its native Peru (19%).