With their intrinsic acidity, tomatoes are a good ingredient for salad dressings. Next time you are using tomatoes and are about to discard the juicy inside and its seeds, think about keeping this to use as a partial substitute for vinegar or lemon juice in a dressing.

Makes enough to dress a salad for 4

Prep time: 10 minutes

Proportions for basic dressing

2 tbsp sieved tomato juices

(see step 1) 2 tbsp good-quality extra virgin olive oil 2 tsp vinegar such as apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 Here is a rough guide to preparing a tomato-based dressing: adjust the amounts up and down accordingly, to make the amount you need. First, core and seed a juicy tomato—plum, cherry, and standard globe tomatoes are best for this. Keep the seeds plus any juices, and blend or process until smooth. Pass through a fine sieve if you like.

2 To this mixture, add an equal amount (by volume) of good-quality extra virgin olive oil and a little vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk with a fork, taste, and adjust the flavors to suit you. And there you have it—a simple yet tasty dressing ready to drizzle over your favorite salad.


  • Some chopped fresh dill and a little freshly toasted and ground cumin seeds transform this dressing into something delicious for roasted tomato, carrot, and beet salads.
  • Add some finely sliced fresh basil leaves and freshly puréed garlic (use a mortar and pestle to crush the garlic with a little salt) to the basic dressing, and use balsamic vinegar—perfect for summery tomato salads.
  • For a piquant dressing with a Spanish touch, add a pinch or so of pimentón (Spanish smoked paprika), and use freshly squeezed orange or lemon juice, or both, instead of vinegar. This is ideal for a red pepper, tomato, and orange salad.

Works well with

Plum (pp64-73) Cherry (pp36-51) Standard globe (pp22-35)

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