Time for a Cajun Bloody Mary –Tomato Salad!
Summer will officially be over soon enough and with that our luscious tomatoes will soon be the insipid, watery, no sunshine flavored shadows of their peak of harvest selves. In the meantime, we’ve been relishing the most wonderful vine-ripened tomatoes and spoiled with their intense flavors. Sometimes I hear Bubba, from Forrest Gump praising shrimp and just substituting tomato in the litany of variations. I’ve eaten them fresh, sun-dried, oven-dried, in bread, in sauce, in salads, etc., and wonder what is possibly left when my colander is full yet again.
Bubba: “Anyway, like I was sayin’, shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey’s uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that’s about it.”
In my search for inspiration I came across a recipe for a Bloody Mary Tomato Salad which was all fine and good, but I hated the Bloody Mary’s my Dad made or those served at the typical Sunday Brunches. Too alcoholic, too peppery or bitter with horseradish, that is until I had a Cajun version at Jazz, a Louisiana Kitchen Restaurant. The rest of their food was just ok but the Bloody Mary blew me away. So, a little Emeril, a litte Bon Appétit and here we go! This is a great side salad for a brunch, and if you slip a little vodka in it, well then, I’m not telling. I also think any leftovers would make a sinful blended bloody mary… Hope you you find something wonderful for your late harvest tomatoes!
- 2 pounds vine ripened fresh tomatoes, diced (choose your favorites)
- 1 pound small grape or lemon drop yellow tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup inner celery stalks, leaves and all, finely chopped
- 1 cup red onion, finely chopped
- ½ cup Spanish olives, halved
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely shredded
- 2 tablespoons, olive brine
- 1 ½ tablespoons fresh lime juice
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon Louisiana Hot Sauce
- 1 teaspoon Cajun Spice Mix (no salt variety)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoons ground cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon celery seeds
- Combine chopped tomatoes, celery, red onion, olives and basil in large bowl.
- In a smaller bowl whisk together lime juice, prepared horseradish, hot sauce and spices.
- Pour over fresh tomato mixture and gently stir to coat with dressing.
- Chill for 1 - 2 hours then serve.
If you want to make your own Cajun Spice Mix this is a good start from bon appétit Cajun Spice Mix