My favourite variety of tomato is the cherry tomato- hands down. These sweet little gems are super flavourful during the summer and just pop in your mouth when you eat them. I enhance the flavour of the cherry tomatoes by roasting them in the oven before blending them up with a few other (very Italian) ingredients. If you like tomatoes, this salad is for you!
- 1 1/2 pints cherry tomatoes (~3 cups)
- 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 4 large basil leaves, plus extra for topping the salad
- 1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 large head of Romaine lettuce, washed and roughly chopped
- 1 steak, grilled and sliced 1 cm thick
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Toss one full pint (~2 cups) of cherry tomatoes with one tablespoon of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, one teaspoon of black pepper, and one teaspoon of balsamic vinegar to fully coat. Spread the tomatoes evenly on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in the oven until the skins have blistered and the tomatoes have begum to pop- this should take about 15 minutes. One the tomatoes are cooked, set them aside to cool slightly.
To make the dressing, add the remaining 1/3 cup of olive oil, one teaspoon of salt, one teaspoon of black pepper, and one teaspoon of balsamic vinegar to a food processor or blender. Add the garlic clove, chili flakes and basil leaves to the blender as well. Add the cooled roasted tomatoes (and the juices from the pan) to the blender as well and blend until the vinaigrette is completely smooth. If the vinaigrette is not coming together, add 1/4 cup of water. You may not need to add the water if the tomatoes are really juicy. Once everything is blended, taste the vinaigrette and adjust the seasonings to your taste.
Slice up the remaining 1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes and the romaine and arrange them on a serving dish. Add the sliced grilled steak (warm or cold works well wither way) and garnish with extra basil leaves. Top off the salad with the roasted cherry tomato vinaigrette and serve immediately.