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Tomato and thyme salad

Updated: Mar 22

Summer is all about tomatoes. They come in many varieties, each with a different flavour, from super sweet to tart and acidic. This is the perfect salad to enjoy tomato season to its fullest.

My tomatoes came from Sadashivnagar Greens and were a mix of beefsteak and red and yellow cherry tomatoes. You want as wide a variety as possible for this salad to add flavour, colour, and texture nuances.

This is a simple 5-minute salad, but do not be fooled by its simplicity. The salad is simple but looks spectacular, with the colours popping on the plate. The tomatoes have had time to absorb the acidity from the vinegar and scent of thyme, and the quick pickled onions balance the flavours. As I have mentioned, this salad is about the summer, refreshing, light, and chilled. This is a salad about tomatoes, its lovely flavours, its different textures, and nothing else to distract you from this. I could eat a large bowl of these and be very happy.

The Lebanese Cookbook is a massive volume, with 500 recipes, by an authority on Lebanese cooking. This book is the definitive guide on Lebanese Cuisine by James Beard award-winning author Salma Hage. That combines hundreds of diverse dishes, from light, tempting mezze and salads to hearty main courses, grilled meats, sumptuous sweets, and refreshing drinks. Salma Hage is from Mazarat Tiffah in the mountains of the Kadisha Valley in north Lebanon. She has over 50 years of experience in family cooking – learning to cook from her mother, mother-in-law, and sisters-in-law while helping to raise her nine brothers and two sisters. This massive volume is a collection of her work and a lovely book to have on your shelf.

For more recipes from this cookbook, click here.


2 large tomatoes

1/2 lb coloured cherry tomatoes

1/2 onion, very thinly sliced

1 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt, to taste

1/2 teaspoon white or black pepper

Cut the large tomatoes into small chunks. If the cherry tomatoes are round, cut them in half horizontally; if they are long, cut them in half longitudinally.

Mix all the other ingredients and let the salad sit in the fridge for at least 1 hour. This step is important, as the vinegar tempers the onions, making them mild.

Serve in bowls chilled, spooning the liquids that have been released over the tomatoes.

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