Kelly the Culinarian: Cooking with Kelly: Tomato salad

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Cooking with Kelly: Tomato salad

Sorry the recipe posts have been light lately, I've encountered several cooking set backs. First, my fridge doesn't work -- it's just a little box full of hot air with a motor that isn't circulating. The family I'm renting from is letting me use their fridge, but I hate to inconvenience them. Second, our supermarket isn't very well stocked. I have to walk to the market so the only one near my apartment is what my landlord called the Soviet Safeway because it nevers have anything.

But I digress. Say what you want about Rachael Ray, but the woman can tell a story. A frequent story on her show is about when she lived abroad for a few months in a European country and didn't have a kitchen of any kind. So she survived for several months on a tomato and onion salad. She may have been extremely malnourished, but she didn't go hungry. When she tells this story, she says she simply cut fresh tomatoes into chunks and sliced up an onion, the dressed the mixture with pepper, salt and some olive oil. Rachael Ray also commented that she liked to get a nice roll or day-old chunk of bread to catch the juices.


Well, Soviet Safeway didn't have sourdough bread, my favorite, or even crusty rolls or any kind of baked bread, just Wonderbread. Nor did they have any decent-quality olive oil, just overpriced, poor quality stuff that had the coloring of vegetable oil and was cloudy in appearance. Yuck!



So instead, I focused my efforts on the spices used to dress it. I topped it with chunky grey sea salt and freshly ground pepper in a variety of peppercorns. Thank goodness tomatoes are in their hayday! I was able to use fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes. Also, the red onions looked fabulous that day, which I'm not sure was in Rachael Ray's concoction. I also let this "marinate" covered with plastic wrap for a couple of hours so that the juices could mingle with the onion and pepper for a richer flavor. I also topped it with a little squeeze of lemon juice right before serving just because I had it on hand.

It's not exactly an answer to my food dilemma and I, unlike Rachael Ray, will not be able to live on this, despite the tasty flavor and various textures in this salad.

So, now the recipe field narrows -- Any suggestions for a semi-kitchen that only has a freezer, microwave and a hot plate? Right now, I'm going to the grocery store every night, but this can't got on forever. It's just too time consuming.

Tomorrow's blog entry: Free tacos at the National Press Club

17 comments:

Retno Prihadana said...

Fridge also helpfull Kelly, for a moment just buy ready to use food and warm it in the microwave ^_^. I´m used to put cucumber instead of tomato combine with red onion and lemon, a bit sugar. Like pickle, doesn´t it?

Nags said...

simple and yummy! :)

Asha said...

We make Indian style marinated tomato -onion salad.I just posted it last Wednesday with my BBQ at Foodie's Hope!:))
I love that salad.

Charlotte Hume said...

I love the way you tell a story and enjoy reading your blog.
The tomato salad looks good as well!
Charlotte
Great Big Vegetable Challenge

Sirisha Kilambi said...

Hey Kelly..so u going the Rachael Ray way :-)
What a story..she survived only on this simple salad.....But I am sure this simple salad is very tasty....:-)

Brilliant Asylum said...

I feel your pain. When I lived in New York, there were no grocery stores in my neighborhood (the Financial district may as well be Siberia). The closest place was 10 blocks away and was a convenience store at best. A box of Frosted Flakes cost $7!!!

Anyway, I don't have any good advice to share, but your salad looks delicious.

Meg Wolff said...

Hi Kelly,
My oatmeal with apples could be done in the microwave, topped with trail mix could keep you pretty satiated...even for a dinner if your stuck! Always a bag of brown rice too...you could go a LONG way with that. Oatmeal link: http://www.becomingwhole.typepad.com/my_weblog/2007/08/aishas-oatmeal-.html
Good luck...we (my husband Tom & I) had a similar grocery store in our first town we lived in as a married couple.

ZoeyBella said...

That looks so refreshing. I think I'll try it for lunch! :) Thanks, as always, for the great ideas.

Sylvia said...

This salad is my husband's favorite, but I like whit lettuce too.

Tanya said...

Hey, if you live by Soviet Safeway, just two blocks further is Whole Foods. If you live on the Dupont side of Soviet Safeway rather than on the U St side of Soviet Safeway, there's also a "metro grocery" on P st between 22 and 23 that's not so expensive and has more helpful stuff.

Warning: do *not* go to Soviet Safeway with snow on the horizon. It really lives up to its' name then.

Tanya said...

Hey, if you live by Soviet Safeway, just two blocks further is Whole Foods. If you live on the Dupont side of Soviet Safeway rather than on the U St side of Soviet Safeway, there's also a "metro grocery" on P st between 22 and 23 that's not so expensive and has more helpful stuff.

Warning: do *not* go to Soviet Safeway with snow on the horizon. It really lives up to its' name then.

Tanya said...

Oh, and Firehook, also by the circle, has decent sourdough.

Keith said...

You should add lettuce and eat it like a salad!

Zach said...

I assume they had a two-for-one special on onions at the Soviet Safeway?

Lydia said...

Are you walking distance from the Dupont Circle farmers' market? You're going to run out of tomato season pretty soon, but you can make a nice raw salad with shaved fennel, too. And with a microwave you can do lots of soups.

tigerfish said...

I'll pass on the raw onions. For me, just tomatoes will do. :)

Nora B. said...

Oh poor you! I can't live without my fridge.

This salad looks refreshing!