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Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

Spice it up! Tomato & pepper salad

Good food / recipes, Living well on less $

Do you still have green tomatoes sitting on your kitchen counter? I do. (I treasure every one.)

Some of them ripen nicely; some of them ripen sort-of; some of them never quite make it. The ones that ripen nicely I save for adding to a tossed salad or making BLTs. The tomatoes that ripen but are less than perfect, I have been making this colorful and tasty marinated tomato & pepper salad with. (The duds sometimes find their way into a pot of chili.)  

This recipe came from the Milwaukee Journal years ago. Like most recipes in my collection, I don't quite follow the original. Because the salad can be made ahead of time, it is great for pot-luck suppers or picnics.

The original recipe: + my variation 

6 large tomatoes - I love to use various colors and types, but any will do. (If you use cherry ones, cut them in half so the flavors will mingle.)

2 large red onions - I don't like raw onion very much. 2 was rather overpowering. I use about 1/2 of a md. red onion. It is plenty!

3 large bell peppers: red, green, yellow, orange, whatever - I mix it up, depending on the color of my tomatoes and what is on sale. The last salad I made, I used some frozen pepper strips* I had previously stashed in the freezer. They worked fine.

I added about 1/4 C extra virgin olive oil at the end, but don't boil this.

Marinade: 

3/4 C apple cider vinegar

1/4 C water

2 T sugar

1 t ground cumin (or less) - I use this same amount. It is not overly spicy, but does have a little heat.

1 t paprika

1/2 t hot red pepper sauce - (or less. I use the full amount.) 

1 t dried oregano - I am not a big fan of oregano. I use basil or The Spice House's Pasta Sprinkles instead (a blend of Italian herbs)

1 large clove minced garlic

1/2 t salt

1/2 t freshly ground pepper

The Process: 

The original recipe said to boil marinade ingredients and pour over prepared vegetables. 

I do it a little differently. Because I never like to refrigerate a tomato and want to keep them a little more intact, I pour the boiling marinade over the onions first--I think it also helped make them less onion-y.

Let cool a little, then add the pepper strips. Add the tomato pieces. Drizzle on the olive oil and mix gently.

If I am serving it soon, I would just leave at room temperature** and stir a few times prior to serving.

If I am making the salad ahead of time, I would refrigerate before adding the tomatoes. Then cut up the tomato pieces and add about 30 min. before serving (as above) or leaving the house.

I would say the recipe serves 8, with large helpings. For my family of 3, I make a half of a recipe and still have a little left over.

Hope you enjoy the salad. It is a great way to use those beloved last-of-the-tomatoes!
 

 

*Red, green, yellow, orange peppers may be frozen without blanching. Just wash, core, cut up into the size you desire and put into freezer zip-loc bags for future use. It is a great way to take advantage of peppers when they are on sale!

**I do not like to eat tomatoes that have been refrigerated. They lose flavor. 

  

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