Monday, April 21, 2014

Tomato Salad with Jalapeño Vinaigrette from Make Ahead Paleo

While at PaleoFX last weekend, I finally got to meet Tammy Credicott in person.  We had tried to meet up at PaleoFX 2013 but we kept missing each other.  I'm pleased to report that she is just as nice in person as the persona she projects in her blog and books. I was able to catch one of her cooking demonstrations where she made her  Tomato Salad with Jalapeño Vinaigrette from Make Ahead Paleo.   

Tammy Credicott at PaleoFX

When she was done, she invited us up for smells but we could not taste.  I posted a picture of her finished salad to the blog's facebook page.  It smelled absolutely lovely and looked quite pretty as well.  I decided I had to try this recipe out so I could have a taste.  

I gathered my ingredients and got to work.  Tammy was lucky that her ingredients were all pre-prepped for the demonstration.  I've not been able to train the kitties to use knives yet.  

I stared by washing the tomatoes, cilantro and jalapeño.  I was about 10 ounces shy of having the amount of tomatoes that the recipe called for.  I figured it would be ok.

Just by coincidence, I came across this video about making cutting grape tomatoes up quickly and safely the night before I decided to make this.  I got two saucers out and thought I was on the way to a quick and easy way to cut cherry/grape tomatoes for the rest of my life.  Alas, no.  When I stacked the second plate, there was no space between the plates to put my knife easily through as my plates have a bit too much depth.  If your saucers are near flat, this might work, but it won't in my kitchen.   

I went back to just slicing the tomatoes one by one.  I decided to mix the salad in a large glass food storage container so I could save dirtying a bowl.  

Next, I diced the onions.  I realized after I was dicing away that I could have diced these in my mini-chopper that I planned to make the dressing in.  Next time.  I chopped up some cilantro and added it to the tomatoes as well.  

I saved the jalapeño for last.  I put a pair of latex gloves on while handling the pepper.  Yeah, in the spectrum of peppers jalapeños aren't that hot, but they are hot enough to burn your eyes or whatever sensitive areas you might touch after touching them.  I'd rather avoid the chance of pain.  I removed the ribs and seeds from the pepper.  

It was then time to make the dressing.   My mini chopper was just the right size processor for this recipe.  I added the pepper, garlic, shallot and the rest of the dressing ingredients into the processor bowl and gave it a good blitz.  The recipe calls for a little honey and I excluded it.  Tammy recommended during her demo leaving the dressing a little chunky.    

The great thing about making your own dressings is determining the texture you like.  I left mine a little chunky.  

I didn't add all of the dressing as I wasn't using the full amount of tomatoes called for in the recipe.  After mixing the salad, I added a little more dressing until it looked well dressed to me.  

Here's my finished salad with a little cilantro garnish.  

Accessibility & Cost of Ingredients: You should be able to find everything you need for this recipe at your "big box" grocery store.  

Preparation & Cooking Time: It took me 22 minutes to prepare this recipe after subtracting a few minutes for my failed tomato saucer cutting trick.  I think I could actually make this in a little less time. I made this at breakfast time and wasn't fully awake yet.  

Clean up:  Clean up was super simple.  Everything I used went into the dishwasher.  

The Paleo Review:  Thumbs Up!  Yum.  This is a simple, fresh salad with a little bite.  As Tammy said, it does hold up well over night and like most things I thought it was better the next day as the flavors had melded a bit more.  

The dressing is going on my side dish cheat sheet as it could be used on any green salad.  I'm thinking mixed greens, red onions, grilled chicken and this dressing.  Yum.  

Now that Easter is over, doesn't a meal of salads sound good?  Perhaps this salad with an Egg Salad to get rid of all those hard boiled eggs?  What salad would you add to this meal?