About Beth

Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

« La Grande Insalata Mista | Main | Shredded Carrot Salad »

Garlic-Scented Tomato Salad

This is a variation on the main dish that Michael and I live on all summer long. We are crazy about fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil. In good years I manage to grow my own tomatoes and basil. On the years that the squirrels steal all of my tomatoes then I still have fresh homegrown basil. We usually dress this with balsamic vinegar, garlic, a good extra virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper. On those days when we want a variation on the theme we use a great balsamic vinegar that we have that has a dark cherry flavor and then leave out the garlic. Anyway, I was excited to try this recipe since I knew we would love it.


This recipe starts with marinating crushed garlic and salt with red wine vinegar for about a half an hour. Then you peel the tomatoes, slice them thinly, and arrange on a platter. Add fresh basil to the top. Strain the garlic out of the vinegar and then pour the garlic flavored vinegar on the tomatoes. Drizzle on the extra virgin olive oil and then serve.


Our local grocery has just started carrying heirloom tomatoes all year round. I love the different flavors and textures that the varieties have. They also are very high quality, which is unusual for tomatoes in our area at this time of year. Most of the tomatoes that we get are mealy and tasteless. I was glad that I could try this recipe with tomatoes that were exceptional.

Okay, you know what I am going to say next. I love this recipe. I will definitely be adding this to the rotation this summer. It has a strong garlic kick, but I love garlic. The flavor combination of the tomatoes and basil just sang. Another winner.

Comments (3)

This looks wonderful Beth - another reminder that a few high quality ingredients yield stellar results. Being farther north than you we can't get high quality tomatoes year-round (SIGH) but I'm going to give this a try when we do have some in the markets!


What market do you visit, Beth? Is it Dierbergs?

Marcella Hazan:

It was my father who used to dress tomatoes this way. He had a nifty way with garlic. I don't think I ever put the recipe down, but he used to dress a steamed branzino or other fish with vinegar and garlic chopped very fine. I am assuming you didn't use the balsamic with this condiment. Use only very good red wine vinegar here. Some time try the red wine vinegar my son produces in Apulia.

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