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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tomato and Red Onion Salad

I had this in London many many years ago.  It was the first time I was visiting the city during my first travel to Europe and it was the first time I've been outside my home country.  Too many first times of everything, I have been on the road for about 10 days and have eaten in various hotels and restaurants in Europe.  I have never eaten outside my own country before so I wasn't very used to all European food.  By the time I was in London, I have already started craving for something fresh, something Mediterranean, something that had olives or tomatoes or feta cheese or fresh onions in it.  We found a restaurant that looked very good and I saw a tomato salad in the menu.  I instantly thought it was "the tomato salad", the Turkish kind.  In the end how many kinds of tomato salads could there be? How wrong was I?  There was a plate of sliced tomatoes, then couple of red onion rings that were randomly placed on top.  I was slightly disappointed, because there were no cucumbers, no peppers, nothing else in it.  Then they brought some balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  That made that salad divine, which made it worth in the end.  I never forgot this salad and made different versions since.  When I saw some fresh basil in the market last week, I thought of making the classic mozzarella salad with fresh tomatoes and basil, but then I remembered this salad.  It goes really well with a spring or summer BBQ and takes about 5 minutes to make.  You only have to have very nice and tasty tomatoes to make it with.  This one here is enough to serve 2.

Tomato and Red Onion Salad

2-3 fresh tomatoes - sliced
1 medium red onion - sliced
a handful of fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons of olive oil
salt to taste

Prepare your salad sauce first, by mixing the olive oil and balsamic in a small bowl.  Add some salt and taste.  You can add some chopped basil leaves to the sauce if you'd like.  Put your tomatoes and onions in a salad bowl then mix it with the salad sauce.  Leave the salad like that for about 5 minutes before you serve.  Put your portions in flat salad plates and garnish with the fresh basil leaves. 

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