I just love it when the tomatoes come in at the beginning of spring. My little garden is brimming with tomatoes and I grow basil, cilantro and oregano as well. Naturally I grow the tomatoes to eat them and I thought I would share my thoughts on preparing a truly delicious tomato salad.
When I was away in Turkey at the beginning of the summer, Lisa visited her friend in San Rafael and returned with the recipe for this salad. Like most salads, this can be a simple recipe, although the taste of it will linger with you and make you want to eat more. In the summer we made this or tabbouleh at least once a week since it is so easy and so flexible, using pretty much the vegetables we had on hand. The two classic dishes from which this recipe derives are Mideastern tabbouleh salad and Italian pasta with pesto, usually linguine, tortellini or even spaghetti. Because it is so tasty and so classic, there are many riffs on the basic recipe. One direction is to go toward Tabbouleh by adding mint ant parsley to the recipe, even adding feta cheese or even make the pesto from these herbs. The other direction is to make pesto from herbs other than basil, like arugula or spinach and to add pine nuts to the recipe. Because I like things simple, I will present the basic recipe and allow my readers to experiment with their own variations.