I love to travel around Italy, and when friends ask where else I’d like to travel in Europe, I always say I have too much to see yet in Italy before I go elsewhere. When we lived in Milan for eight years while my kids were much younger, we traveled around Europe a lot, in fact just about any chance my family could fit travel into our busy schedules, we did. So I’ve had the opportunity to explore Europe already, and now I prefer to simply explore Italy.
We recently spent eleven days driving around the island of Sicily, and when we travel, it is always about the food. We ate some truly memorable meals in Sicily, but there are always a few specific dishes that stand out for me. This simple salad is one I had when we were in Taormina, and I fell in love after the first bite. It is dishes such as this one, using just a few high quality ingredients, that epitomizes Italian cuisine. Simplicity, fresh locally grown ingredients, and a light hand with preparation.
Basically, for this salad, you need ripe, good tasting tomatoes, sweet onions (I used Tropea onions from Calabria), and a fairly ripe Gorgonzola cheese. You want cheese that you can crumble, that has a strong flavor, so Gorgonzola Dolce will not work as it is too creamy and smooth tasting. Any other sweet onion, such as Vidalia onions will work fine, and although I used ripe plum tomatoes, any good tasting, very ripe tomato would work in this recipe. This salad would be great for lunch on a warm summer day, or as a first course for dinner.
Piazza Duomo in Taormina
Deborah Mele 2016
Tomato, Onion, & Gorgonzola Cheese Salad
- 8 Ripe Plum Tomatoes, Cut Into Quarters
- 1 Large Sweet Onion, Peeled And Cut Into Strips
- 3 Ounces Gorgonzola Cheese, Crumbled (See Notes Above)
- Fresh Basil Leaves
- Aged Balsamic Vinegar
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper To Taste
- Arrange the tomatoes and onions onto four bowls or plates.
- Crumble the cheese on top.
- Toss the fresh basil leaves over the salad.
- Drizzle each portion first with a little of the aged balsamic vinegar, then some extra virgin olive oil.
- Season with salt and pepper, then serve.