Along with baked artichokes and meatball sandwiches, this tomato salad was instituted into our daily repertoire by Rose, my non-Italian mom, who personalized her favorite recipes of her mother-in-law, our grandmother, Mary Ferlo. Nowadays all my brothers make this and it is always on Rose's table in the summer during peak tomato season. You will need plenty of fresh crusty bread to sop up the "sugo." You may use this same recipe but dice the tomatoes for a quick sauce or relish.
- 4 fresh ripe tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 small red onion, sliced thinly length-wise (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons torn fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme or oregano, or 1/4 teaspoon dried
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 loaf fresh whole bread, torn in pieces
- Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Submerge each tomato for 10 seconds each and immediately run under cold water. The skin should easily peel off. Cut out the core, slice into thin wedges and place in a medium-size bowl. Add the salt and mix.
- Add the onion, parsley, garlic, basil, thyme or oregano, and olive oil. Stir until well combined. Chill until ready to serve, preferably at least 30 minutes. Serve in salad bowls with hunks of bread on the side.