Cherry and Grape Tomato Salad for A Steak Dinner

Tomato Roquefort SaladThere’s great value to knitting or digging up your garden or chopping up vegetables for soup, because you’re taking some time away from turning the pages, answering your emails, talking to people on the phone, and you’re letting your brain process whatever is stuck up in there.
Chellie Pingree

Whole beef tenderloins were on sale and since it takes time to trim and cut for several meals so dinner had to be easy, what could be easier than a steak and I did the first bake on the potato while I was packaging up the tenderloin steaks/roast and trimmings.  Then on to a salad and not feeling like washing lettuces I looked for a salad recipe for a steak dinner and came upon a Suzanne Goin recipe from a book that has been tucked away/hiding for a long time…I was looking for something without lettuce since we share a twice baked potato and enjoy filets with a rich Cabernet Sauvignon sauce and a big salad just doesn’t cut it, a simple side of the cherry tomato salad is just what I was looking for.    I’ve shown the full ingredient list, but for the both of us we will have a smaller version.  I don’t have much luck finding Roquefort cheese too often so I end up using another “blue” cheese.  Soaking the red onions really does mellow them out and I might adopt that method when I am using raw red onions from now on.

I would definitely make this salad again!

Tomato, Roquefort and Red Onion Salad
Adapted from Suzanne Goin’s Sunday Suppers at Lucques

1 tablespoon oregano leaves
1/2 clove garlic
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small red onion or 1/2 a medium red onion
1 1/4 pounds cherry tomatoes, halved (use multicolored if you can find them)
1 teaspoon flaky sea salt (or 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt)
1/2 lemon
2 1/2 ounces Roquefort blue cheese, gorgonzola, or blue cheese
small handful fresh basil
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Peel the onion and slice into 1/4-inch-thick rings. Soak the rings in a bowl of ice water for about 10 minutes. This will keep the crisp while mellowing the harsh raw onion flavor.

Pound the oregano, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until they form a paste.   I did this on a chopping board.  Place into a small mixing bowl and stir in the red wine and balsamic vinegars, whisk in the olive oil to emulsify.

Drain the onions, add them to a large mixing bowl and squeeze the lemon over them and sprinkle them with salt and teaspoon of vinaigrette. Sprinkle the halved cherry tomatoes with sea salt and black pepper and add them to the bowl. Cut the cheese into rough 1/4-to 1/2-inch chunks. Add the vinaigrette and toss until the salad is coated. Tear the basil into pieces and sprinkle it over the salad. Serve immediately.

Yield: Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a side.