Fruits and Herbs for the Feast of the Assumption

medium_GHERARDUCCI_Don_Silvestro_dei_Assumption_of_the_Virgin_1365.jpgAs if I didn’t post enough tomato recipes I’m adding another one.

This one is special, because it’s named after the Solemnity of the Assumption, August 15. There aren’t many specific traditional foods for this feast. It was originally a day for blessing of flowers, fruits and herbs, so any kind of combinations of foods that include that would be appropriate for this feast. Tomatoes are technically a fruit, and this recipe calls for lots of herbs.

This recipe is by Brother Victor-Antoine d’Avila-Latourrette from his Twelve Months of Monastery Salads. I love this cookbook, particularly in the summer.

Assumpta Salad
“This enticing salad is always served as an appetizer. It is one of our favorites for the feast of Our Lady, and we especially like it on the Feast of the Assumption on August 15, when garden tomatoes are at their best.”

Salad
8 medium-size ripe tomatoes, sliced
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 cup pitted black olives, drained
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 cup cubed feta cheese (I omit)

Vinaigrette
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
5 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together until thickened. Let stand for about 1 hour before using to steep the garlic.

For the salad, arrange tomato slices on 6 to 8 salad plates. Sprinkle the onion and olives among them. Sprinkle the herbs evenly, then add the cheese cubes in the middle of each dish.

Whisk vinaigrette just before serving and drizzle evenly over each plate. Serve immediately.

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