An honest take on life and parenthood

Fresh Tomato & Oregano Salad

on September 21, 2014

tomato oregano salad 2

When I was about seven or eight, my mom and stepfather befriended an older Italian couple in another town. When we visited, they served us a platter of sliced tomatoes with oregano, which I had never experienced before. It was wonderful – fresh and summery, and full of flavor. Although I cannot remember the names or faces of the couple, I have never forgotten that salad. I also have not had it since.

Fast forward to today.

Many of you know that I keep a simple herb garden in a triangle of earth next to my back door. The oregano came back this year without any prompting from me, dwarfing my thyme and mint.

My basil did well, but the oregano flourished like a weed, as if to say, “Ignore that fussy basil over there! Look at ME!”

And it triggered the memory of that marvelous sliced tomato salad I had eaten as a child.

I consulted my memory taste buds, and I recreated the salad. The simple recipe is below.

Keep in mind that you need to use the best tomatoes you can find, along with fresh (not dried) oregano and a good, flavorful extra virgin olive oil.

If you want to change things up from your normal basil routine, give your palate a refresher and enjoy the last tomatoes of the season with fresh oregano. You won’t regret it, I promise.

tomato oregano salad with bread 2

Fresh Tomato and Oregano salad (serves 2-3 people)

3 Red ripe tomatoes (preferably garden grown)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (green and flavorful)
Sea or kosher salt
3 sprigs of fresh oregano, washed and dried
1 loaf of fresh Italian bread, sliced
Large round dinner plate or small platter

1) Strip the leaves from the oregano stems. There should be about a teaspoon or so. If the leaves are tiny, crush them in your hand for a moment to release their oil. If they are large leaves, slice or shred them roughly.
2) Core the tomatoes and then slice them horizontally into rounds.
3) Arrange the tomato slices on the plate, slightly overlapping them.
4) Sprinkle the slices with the salt of your choice.
5) Sprinkle the slices with the oregano leaves. You don’t have to use all of the leaves. Oregano has strong flavor and a little goes a long way.
6) Drizzle the olive oil over the tomatoes and oregano.
7) Serve each person with individual plates, forks, and knives to cut their slices.
8) Sop up the leftover vinaigrette on the plate with fresh Italian bread.

2 responses to “Fresh Tomato & Oregano Salad

  1. jgroeber says:

    Ah, yes. Our local organic CSA (farm share) has me carrying home all manner of things I wouldn’t normally handle: delicatta squash, Brussels sprouts greens, piles of kale and bags filled with oregano, thyme, dill, Italian parsley, chives, lemon balm and sage. For some reason my go-tos, cilantro and basil, can hardly compete. We’ve been enjoying a summer of random mystery herbs chopped and thrown on everything, from raw chicken (as a marinade) to their gorgeous heirloom tomatoes. Yum ! A glass of wine finishes off the meal perfectly, too. Cheers!
    (And thanks for this last blast of yummy summer!)


  2. Every summer, I think to myself, “I have to sign up for a CSA.” And I never do. Sounds like it has worked out well for you! YUMMY!


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