Half Roasted Tomato Salad with Salsa Verde

August 3, 2015

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: While the stars of this tomato and salsa verde salad are the crispy roasted capers, inspired by my Gramercy Tavern introduction, the other components are more familiar: The idea of mixing roasted and fresh tomatoes comes from Heidi Swanson’s upcoming book Near & Far; the green sauce is adapted from Amanda, who uses it on meat, in grain salads, and surely in a million other ways; the courage to use an anchovy comes from Kenzi and Phyllis, who convinced me there must be something to this fishy seductress; the idea to use the excess tomato oil as the base for the green sauce comes from Kristen, who recently taught me how to use that oil to sauté shrimp; and the serving over yogurt comes from Merrill—it’s how she serves her roasted zucchini.

Instead of culling through all of the colors, flavors, textures, and ingredients that have inspired me over the past month, I plucked these cooks' greatest hits and put them it all together. If that makes me a thief, at least I'm a thief with good taste.
Sarah Jampel

Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 1 quart sweet cherry tomatoes, preferably a mixture of colors and shapes
  • 3 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
  • Olive oil, for roasting
  • Coarse salt, for sprinkling, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 1 large or 2 medium/small ripe beefsteak tomatoes, chopped into large chunks
  • 1 handful thinly sliced red onions (half-moon shape), soaked in ice water for 10 minutes, drained, and dried (optional step that will remove the bite from the onion)
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves, or fewer depending on your preferences
  • 1 splash red wine vinegar, optional
  • Greek yogurt, for serving
  • Fluffy pita, for serving

For the salsa verde:

  • About 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (or 1 teaspoon fresh)
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped basil
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 anchovy
  • 1 tablespoon drained capers
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 lemon, for juicing
  • Freshly ground black pepper
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Pour the cherry tomatoes and garlic cloves onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, making sure everything fits in a single layer. Pour a generous layer of olive oil over the tomatoes so that it forms a shallow pools in the base of the baking sheet—you'll be repurposing this oil later. Sprinkle generously with coarse salt. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the tomatoes are blistered and deflated and have released their juices.
  2. Toss the capers with 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil and pour them onto a separate baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring once or twice, until they're fragrant and crispy.
  3. When the tomatoes are out of the oven, you can start on the salsa verde: Pour all of the extra juices and oil from the cherry tomato baking sheet into a liquid measuring cup. Pour in enough extra-virgin olive oil so that you have 3/4 cup total.
  4. Add the oregano, basil, and parsley to a food processor and process until the herbs are all finely shredded and paste-like. Pour in a small amount of the oil (a couple of tablespoons) and process.
  5. Add the garlic, anchovy, capers, and red pepper flakes and process to combine. With the motor running, stream in the rest of the olive oil and process until you have a uniform sauce. Taste it, then add a squeeze of lemon and freshly ground pepper, as desired. Don't add salt until after you've tasted the sauce—the anchovies and capers might be plenty salty on their own!
  6. In a large salad bowl, dump the blistered cherry tomatoes, roasted capers, raw tomato chunks, red onion, and a handful of basil leaves. (You can also reserve the capers for later and add them to the top of the salad at the very end—this will help them to retain their crispiness.) Add a spoonful of salsa verde and mix. You can add the salsa verde until it coats all the vegetables and pools at the bottom of the bowl or you can stop earlier. Taste for acid and add red wine vinegar as you see fit; add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve the salad spooned over Greek yogurt and scoop everything up with fluffy pita (even better if the pita is warm). Drizzle with more salsa verde as you see fit.

More Great Recipes:
Salsa|Salad|Italian|Clove|Oregano|Parsley|Tomato|Vegetable|Vinegar|Red Wine|Anchovy|Capers

Reviews (5) Questions (0)

5 Reviews

Elise F. February 23, 2017
This is my go to recipe on a week night when I want something flavorful with very little effort. It also makes great lunch the next day!
 
Author Comment
Sarah J. February 23, 2017
Hooray—so glad to hear that!
 
Philipp S. July 9, 2016
Sounds like a great recipe. I always thought you shouldn't heat up olive oil to such a high temperature. Do I need to get a special kind which is suitable for it?
 
kaleandsalt August 12, 2015
This was good. I liked the mix of roasted and raw tomatoes, and I will definitely being using the red onion trick again. Each ingredient individually was delicious, but I felt the total was less than the sum of the parts: the roasted capers got lost in the dressing, and I felt the salsa verde needs a bit of tweaking to maximize the brightness of the flavors. Overall it was a great starting point and I look forward to playing around with the flavors some more!
 
Author Comment
Sarah J. August 12, 2015
Thank you for trying it! I can see how that might happen to the capers! I might suggest using them as a topping instead of mixing them into the salad. And I like to drizzle the servings with a bit of extra salsa verde. Please let me know how you tweak the salsa verde—I'm interested to hear.