This is the third and final recipe to go with the Brazilian Feijoada I made the other day. In addition to that marvelous bean stew that was just loaded with all kinds of meats, beef and pork, some smoked, I served a traditional side, fresh & bright Brazilian Style Collard Greens. What really accented those dishes was this Brazilian Vinegar Tomato Salad.
Frankly, both the rich Feijoada and the collards needed this Vinegar Tomato Salad both for the freshness and for the bit of vinegar punch. Everything else would have been less than they could be without it.
About Brazilian Vinegar Tomato Salad:
There are probably as many versions of this simple salads as there are people who make it. Most look a lot like Salsa, but the key difference is there is no heat. And most have tomatoes, either sliced or diced, some kind of onion, a good oil and some kind of vinegar, along with an herb or two.
So that gives you a framework, but also leeway, given all the different tomatoes available, several types of onion, along with your fave choice of oil, not to mention a whole slew of different kinds of vinegar you can choose.
Normally I’d go with a garden variety tomato, but being it’s January, they all looked terrible at the store, and t I just happened across these marvelous Chocolate Tomatoes on sale, I choose them, and they were marvelous. I think I’ll be growing them next year depending on the ongoing animal situation at my house. The neighbors stopped feeding, the squirrels. raccoons and possums have dispersed, the chipmunks are underground but there are still crazy amounts of rabbits. We shall see.
For the rest of the roster, in went plain old white onions, olive oil, red wine vinegar just because that was what I grabbed along with a bit of parsley for some green. If you’d like, peppers, cucumbers or other common salad ingredients can never be wrong!
Making Brazilian Vinegar Tomato Salad:
There’s nothing to making the salad. I open the tomatoes and get rid of any hard white parts and excess seeds before I make the salad. The salad is best made the day before, and when I make any salsas or salads like this, I do one simple little thing. I put the acidic ingredients (in this case vinegar, but in some salsas, lime) in with the onion and let it sit as I prepare the rest of the ingredients. It was a hint I picked up from a Mexican gentleman and I think it does what he says, tames the onion just a bit.
You can make this in any amount; it’s a matter of proportion. Use about 1/4 amount of onion to the tomato and the vinegar to oil ratio is almost always 1 to 2. Some people freak a bit about the oil but it adds richness and if you use a good, heart-healthy one, maybe it will do you some good!
The most important thing is to make the salad ahead. Preferably the day before. That way all the components can mingle and blend. It won’t be quite as pretty, but it does give the flavor of the vinegar a chance to penetrate the onions and tomatoes.
Saving Money on Brazilian Vinegar Tomato Salad:
When buying tomatoes, usually what’s on special is the best! That depends on where you live and the season, but if you’re shopping the grocery store, it seems to hold true. If the tomatoes look good, if I can, I’ll pick up some on sale for the current week and a couple to sit on the windowsill for the following. Beware lighting and packaging that’s tinted to make the tomatoes (and this is true with other vegetables and fruits) look better than they are.
Vinegar is almost always at a low for the year before Easter, during the big holiday sales, and not just plain old vinegar. Check down the aisle and see if the “fancier” vinegar is on sale, too. Stock up for the year. If you miss Easter, do try to stock up during the summer sales when condiments are often on sale.
Onions are almost always cheapest in larger bags. Rarely on sale at the grocery, check Aldi or your buyer’s club. Store them away from potatoes, in a well-ventilated area in the dark. As far as herbs, grow your own, even if it’s a pot on the steps or a sunny window sill.Print
Brazilian Vinegar Tomato Salad
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 1 to 24 hours marinade
- Yield: about 1 1/2 cups 1x
- Category: Salads
- Cuisine: Brazilian
- 3 to 4 tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- two tablespoons of red wine (or another) vinegar
- two tablespoons parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
In a medium-sized bowl, mix together onion and vinegar, set aside while preparing the rest of the ingredients. Ad the tomatoes, oil, and parsley. Mix, and add salt and pepper to taste.
Best if made 24 hours in advance and refrigerated. Set out to come to room temperature one hour before serving. If making same day, give it as much time as possible.
Keywords: Brazilian, Salad, Salsa, Tomatoes, Vinegar