Summer

Sicilian Tomato Salad with Pecorino Vinaigrette

August 15, 2011
Author Notes

This is my attempt to recreate my favorite dish from Mandola's in Austin. It's somewhere between overloaded bruschetta and deconstructed panzanella, and it's totally delicious. It makes for a very happy light summer supper. - arielleclementine —arielleclementine

Test Kitchen Notes

Simply put, this salad is delicious. It’s easy to assemble, loaded with flavor, and fun to eat. There are a lot of tomato salads out there, but a few thoughtful details make arielleclementine’s version stand out. First, the addition of freshly grated pecorino to an otherwise standard red wine vinaigrette ups the flavor tremendously, an idea I’ll be stealing for other salads. I also love the details of serving the salad over a big piece of grilled, garlic-rubbed bread (whimsical and practical!) and then showering it with grated ricotta salata, which perfectly complements the more assertive red onion and kalamata olives. All of my testers raved. It’s a salad worthy of your finest cherry tomatoes. - EmilyC —EmilyC

  • Serves 2
Ingredients
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced very thinly
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated aged pecorino
  • pinch of kosher salt and black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 thick slices country white bread
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • kosher salt and black pepper, for sprinkling
  • 2 ounces ricotta salata, grated
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Fire up your charcoal grill or preheat a gas one.
  2. Combine the cherry tomatoes, red onion, kalamata olives, and oregano in a medium bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, the grated pecorino, and a pinch of kosher salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle in the 3 tablespoons of olive oil and whisk until emulsified. Pour over the tomato mixture and toss to coat.
  4. Grill the slices of bread a minute or so on each side until handsomely charred. Rub the slices of bread with a smashed garlic clove, and drizzle both sides with olive oil. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  5. To assemble, place two slices of grilled bread in the bottom of two bowls. Spoon the tomato mixture on top of the bread slices and finish with the grated ricotta salata.
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Review
I have always loved food. My favorite books as a kid always featured food (eg. The Berenstain Bears Get the Gimmies- so much candy!) and I loved cooking shows like Yan Can Cook and The Frugal Gourmet. I started cooking the Thanksgiving dinner for my family when I was 13 years old. I have food52 to thank for inspiring me to come up with my own recipes, as well as for introducing me to a community of fantastic cooks and their amazing recipes. I try my best to cook locally and seasonally, and I tend to prefer straightforward, simple recipes where the ingredients get to shine. I live in wonderful Austin, Texas with my husband, Andy (a video game programmer) and my son, Henry (an 8-month-old who loves to eat).