By Jodee Weiland
When I was growing up, the vegetable garden was planted every summer. During the summer months, the tomatoes were coming in fast and furious. There were always plenty of tomatoes and my father’s hot peppers as well. For this reason mom would often make her Italian Tomato Salad…With Basil, Garlic, and Peppers.
A big loaf of freshly baked Italian bread to eat with the tomato salad was a must. We would eat the tomatoes and dunk our bread in the tomato, basil, and pepper juices from the salad, this sometimes being our favorite part.
This salad is unusual in that it has no vinegar or any other juices other than those from the tomatoes in water and oil with basil, garlic, and peppers. Regardless, when put together, these ingredients create a juice that is flavorful and even better when you soak it up with freshly baked Italian bread. You won’t believe me until you try it yourself, but it is really good and so easy to put together. It’s a great way to use tomatoes as a side for dinner.
Mom’s Italian Tomato Salad…With Basil, Garlic, and Peppers
Ripe tomatoes cut into wedges (as many as you want/I used about 6)
4 or more fresh basil leaves sliced and lightly chopped
1 to 2 cloves garlic chopped
1 to 2 hot peppers finely diced (number depends on size and desire for heat)
Water to fill bowl up to an inch from the upper edge of the bowl or to cover tomatoes plus some
Vegetable oil (olive oil will solidify in fridge so use vegetable oil) about a half inch of oil
Salt and black pepper to taste as you eat salad
In a bowl with a cover, put your cut tomatoes, basil, garlic, and peppers. Add water to cover tomatoes, followed by a half inch of vegetable oil. Stir together. Then cover and put in the refrigerator for several hours before serving. This will give the tomato juices, basil, garlic, and pepper flavors a chance to blend together in the oil and water creating the salad juices desired.
When ready, serve Mom’s Italian Tomato Salad…With Basil, Garlic, and Peppers with the rest of your meal. Don’t forget to get a freshly baked loaf of Italian bread to serve with your salad. Then enjoy dipping your bread in the juices as you eat your tomato salad. You will love it. I know we all did and still do. Try it out and find out what I’m talking about! Enjoy!