TomatoMania- Insalata Primaverile di Fruta e Pomodoro

fruit and tomato saladIt’s Maniac Monday again and time to celebrate TomatoMania.

Today I am making the first of the winning TomatoMania recipes. I was so worried about how to choose which one to start with. But fortunately fate stepped in and decided for me.

If you read this blog yesterday then you know I am posting recipes that feature mint this week. Nothing but mint all week long. Like some old worn out broken record. Yep, that’s me! If you were unaware of this mint-only requirement then you are at least one day behind on your reading. Hit the backspace and quit jumping ahead to see how things turn out.

Well, only one of the winning recipes highlights mint. So I am starting with the Insalata Primaverile di Fruta e Pomodoro from Just Call Me Marta. Which means Springtime Salad of Fruit and Tomato!

Which is a bit redundant because knowledgeable readers of this blog already know that tomato is a fruit.

Which is what makes Marta’s salad so clever.

Just Call Me Marta Recipe CardI made this salad, and it’s just the sort of deft pairing of the usual with the unusual that makes me smile. The acidity of the tomatoes is nicely balanced with the yogurt and mascarpone. Marta’s use of a pinch of salt, may feel unexpected. But if you stop and think about how to best use salt, then it makes perfect sense. Because it brings out the sweetness in the tomatoes. It makes them a lovely partner to the more traditional elements in this fruit salad.

Insalata Primaverile di Frutta e Pomodoro

1 lb interesting tomatoes: grape, cherry, red, orange, yellow, green, zebra, and heirloom.
1‑cup seedless green grapes
1 cup chopped strawberries1 orange, zested and cut in segments
1 grapefruit, cut in segments
1 lemon, juice and zest
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Handful of fresh basil
Handful of fresh mint
Drizzle of honey
Pinch of salt
Handful of toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds
1/2‑cup mascarpone, at room temperature
1/2‑cup plain yogurt

1. Cut the tomatoes in bite-sized pieces. Add the grapes, strawberries, orange and grapefruit segments.
2. Add the orange and lemon zest, the lemon juice, vinegar, salt
, marinating fruit and tomato saladherbs and honey. Mix well and let it sit for 1 hour in the fridge so the flavors can marry and the juices combine. Stir well a couple of times.
3. Beat the mascarpone until fluffy, adds the yogurt, and drizzle with some honey.
4. Sprinkle seeds on the salad and serve with a dollop of the mascarpone yogurt, drizzle some more honey if you wish and throw some breezy mint leaves on top. Welcome spring!

I made this for a small dinner with a close friend. It was a great salad. I loved seeing my friend Helen’s look of astonishment when I told her there were tomatoes in it too. It’s such fun to surprise the people you love with a little of the unexpected.

I followed this recipe pretty faithfully with 3 minor exceptions. It seems I julienned the basil and mint. I so enjoy doing that I couldn’t stop myself. I used white balsamic so that the colors would stay bright and un-muddied. I also left out the grapefruit… it’s not that I do not like grapefruit. It just worked out that way!


Greg Henry