Your tastiest raw tomato dishes

Salads and pastas, yes, but let us introduce you to perhaps the greatest tomato sandwich ever

Topics: Kitchen Challenge, Food,

Your tastiest raw tomato dishes

Every week, your challenge is to create an eye-opening dish within our capricious themes and parameters. Blog your submission on Open Salon by Monday 10 a.m. EST — with photos and your story behind the dish — and we’ll republish the winners on Salon on Tuesday. (It takes only 30 seconds to start a blog.) Please note that by participating, you’re giving Salon permission to re-post your entry if it’s chosen as a winner, and acknowledging that all words and images in your post are your own, unless explicitly stated. And yes, mashed potato sculpture counts as a dish. Emphatically.

This week, we asked for your most lively raw-ish tomato dish.


Tomato-rubbed Mediterranean Tuna Sandwich by Linda Shiue: This week, Linda tells us a lovely story of the importance of befriending even intimidating neighbors, both because it’s the right thing to do, and because they might give you their homegrown tomatoes and tell you how to make this awe-inspiring Maltese specialty of tomato-rubbed toast topped with all manner of good things — tuna, hard-boiled eggs, olives, herbs, onion and olive oil.


In the Plain, but not Plain-Old category:

The complexities of a simple tomato salad by Gavin Fritton: There may be seemingly nothing to making tomato salad, but when you’re in the hands of a man passionate about tomatoes, you’ll find all kinds of techniques to find enlightenment. Not a recipe per se, but an intense walk-through of everything you need to know from how to peel tomatoes to the importance of salt.

In the Tomato-Cucumber Salad category:

Farmer’s Tomato Cucumber Salad With Creamy Dressing by Grace Hwang: Inspired by a rather odd afternoon in a potato farmer’s home, Grace keeps one eye on the Mediterranean for this salad and one eye on Idaho, blending yogurt and mayonnaise with vinegar and dill for an intriguing dressing.

In the Pasta category:

Spaghetti With Fresh Tomato and Fontina Cheese by Lucy Mercer: There is definitely a school of thought that says, “When the tomatoes are good, just let them be,” and this pasta is a testament to that: cut, left to marinate with garlic, basil and creamy cheese, it becomes its own sauce for pasta without any cooking at all.


Tomato Bread (aka Bruschetta, if you must be fancy) by Coogansbluf: Not to denigrate this classic snack, but Coogs is laying it down this week for anyone who’s ever not made it because its Italian name makes it sound difficult. It’s tomato bread, and it’s as simple as that. (Especially if you know the trick he shares with using a grater to quickly peel and chop them.)

Summer pesto with tomatoes by Felisa Rogers: As simple and classic a dish as can be, Felisa’s pasta with fresh pesto tossed with ripe tomatoes is irresistible … as in, we’re taking a break to make some now.

Pizza by At Home Pilgrim: In a detailed and illustrated post (too many photos, in fact, to re-post comfortably in Salon!), the At Home Pilgrim teaches us how to make pizza from the ground up. 

Tahini-stuffed tomatoes by Fusun Atalay: The Mediterranean sesame paste called tahini is usually used as a condiment, but here, Fusun mixes it with lemon juice to form a rich stuffing for cherry tomatoes.

Variations on a tomato sandwich theme by Lori Covington: In the matter of the ‘mater sandwich, are you a butter, mayonnaise or cheese kind of person? Any way is OK; we won’t judge.

Grilled Tomato Relish for Steak by Lisa Kuebler: If you’ve got the grill going for a steak anyway, why not let a little char take care of the sauce for you? Here, Lisa shows us how to simply grill a bit of tomato and onion for flavor, mix it up into a tart relish, and use it to enliven meat.

Tomato salad with goat cheese, almonds and blueberries by Sheba Marx: If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be traumatized by a raw tomato, Sheba’s Catholic school child-self is happy to tell you. Psychic healing all finished, though, here’s also a lovely, simple tomato salad.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Thanks so much for all of your gently handled tomato recipes last week! But of course, the glories of the fruit aren’t only to be found when raw. And come later in the summer, when the crop is heavy and they’re all around, it’ll be time to think about what you’re going to do with pounds and pounds of the stuff, and there will be no avoiding a hot kitchen. Thoughts will turn to cooked sauces and stews. Some for canning, some for freezing, and some for serving with a wink that says, “Yes, it’s 150 degrees out, and yes, I just stood over a stove for hours to make this for you.”

So this week, as promised and/or threatened, please: your finest slow-cooked tomato sauces, stews or whatever you come up with, as long as the tomato gets nice and concentrated.

Be sure to tag your posts: SKC cooked tomato (Please note that by participating, you’re giving Salon permission to re-post your entry if it’s chosen as a winner, and acknowledging that all words and images in your post are your own, unless explicitly stated. Adaptations of existing recipes are fine, but please let us know where the original comes from. And if you’d like to participate but not have your post considered for republication on Salon, please note it in the post itself. Thanks!)

Scoring and winning

Scores will be very scientific, given for appealing photos, interesting stories behind your submissions, creativity, execution and tomatoliciousness. 

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 22
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Talking Heads, 1977
    This was their first weekend as a foursome at CBGB’s, after adding Jerry Harrison, before they started recording the LP “Talking Heads: 77.”

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Patti Smith, Bowery 1976
    Patti lit up by the Bowery streetlights. I tapped her on the shoulder, asked if I could do a picture, took two shots and everyone went back to what they were doing. 1/4 second at f/5.6 no tripod.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Blondie, 1977
    This was taken at the Punk Magazine Benefit show. According to Chris Stein (seated, on slide guitar), they were playing “Little Red Rooster.”

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    No Wave Punks, Bowery Summer 1978
    They were sitting just like this when I walked out of CBGB's. Me: “Don’t move” They didn’t. L to R: Harold Paris, Kristian Hoffman, Diego Cortez, Anya Phillips, Lydia Lunch, James Chance, Jim Sclavunos, Bradley Field, Liz Seidman.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Richard Hell + Bob Quine, 1978
    Richard Hell and the Voidoids, playing CBGB's in 1978, with Richard’s peerless guitar player Robert Quine. Sorely missed, Quine died in 2004.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Bathroom, 1977
    This photograph of mine was used to create the “replica” CBGB's bathroom in the Punk Couture show last summer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. So I got into the Met with a bathroom photo.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Stiv Bators + Divine, 1978
    Stiv Bators, Divine and the Dead Boys at the Blitz Benefit show for injured Dead Boys drummer Johnny Blitz.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Ramones, 1977
    “The kids are all hopped up and ready to go…” View from the unique "side stage" at CBGB's that you had to walk past to get to the basement bathrooms.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Klaus Nomi, Christopher Parker, Jim Jarmusch – Bowery 1978
    Jarmusch was still in film school, Parker was starring in Jim’s first film "Permanent Vacation" and Klaus just appeared out of nowhere.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Hilly Kristal, Bowery 1977
    When I used to show people this picture of owner Hilly Kristal, they would ask me “Why did you photograph that guy? He’s not a punk!” Now they know why. None of these pictures would have existed without Hilly Kristal.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Dictators, Bowery 1976
    Handsome Dick Manitoba of the Dictators with his girlfriend Jody. I took this shot as a thank you for him returning the wallet I’d lost the night before at CBGB's. He doesn’t like that I tell people he returned it with everything in it.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Alex Chilton, Bowery 1977
    We were on the median strip on the Bowery shooting what became a 45 single sleeve for Alex’s “Bangkok.” A drop of rain landed on the camera lens by accident. Definitely a lucky night!

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Bowery view, 1977
    The view from across the Bowery in the summer of 1977.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Ramones, 1977 – never before printed
    I loved shooting The Ramones. They would play two sets a night, four nights a week at CBGB's, and I’d be there for all of them. This shot is notable for Johnny playing a Strat, rather than his usual Mosrite. Maybe he’d just broken a string. Love that hair.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Richard Hell, Bowery 1977 – never before printed
    Richard exiting CBGB's with his guitar at 4am, about to step into a Bowery rainstorm. I’ve always printed the shots of him in the rain, but this one is a real standout to me now.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Patti Smith + Ronnie Spector, 1979
    May 24th – Bob Dylan Birthday show – Patti “invited” everyone at that night’s Palladium show on 14th Street down to CBGB's to celebrate Bob Dylan’s birthday. Here, Patti and Ronnie are doing “Be My Baby.”

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Legs McNeil, 1977
    Legs, ready for his close-up, near the front door of CBGB's.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Suicide, 1977
    Rev and Alan Vega – I thought Alan was going to hit me with that chain. This was the Punk Magazine Benefit show.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Ian Hunter and Fans, outside bathroom
    I always think of “All the Young Dudes” when I look at this shot. These fans had caught Ian Hunter in the CBGB's basement outside the bathrooms, and I just stepped in to record the moment.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Tommy Ramone, 1977
    Only at CBGB's could I have gotten this shot of Tommy Ramone seen through Johnny Ramones legs.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Bowery 4am, 1977
    End of the night garbage run. Time to go home.

  • Recent Slide Shows



Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>