i cannot let summer go by without presenting photos of this fabulous salad that was my father's recipe. when mama was gone on a summer afternoon, daddy would prepare this for our lunch. created only with garden-ripened tomatoes, this garlic-laden salad, spiked with fresh spearmint and a drizzling of olive oil is simple to make and exciting to taste. typically we scooped little bites of tomato salad with snippets of arabic bread, using the bread to soak up the juices.
this summer portland was so cool that my lebanese mountain tomatoes from seeds my friend josephine brought from lebanon, really didn't ripen; only the little orange sun-gold cherry tomatoes were small enough to ripen and graze on. but the farmer's market tomatoes were excellent substitutes for my home-grown mostly green tomatoes that are in the basement waiting to ripen in the dark, or are being used in soups and in plates that do not require sun-drenched flavor that only sun-ripened tomatoes provide.
the few ingredients for this salad are: tomatoes, spearmint, garlic mashed into a puree with salt, and olive oil. of course, you'll find the complete recipe in alice's kitchen: traditional lebanese cooking on page 64.
just mix everything together and chill for about 15 minutes before serving, allowing the flavors to meld and the juices to marinate it all. serve with pita bread or french bread. excellent left over, should you have any left!
although my father did not spend much time in the kitchen, when he did it was great!