Thursday, October 30, 2014

One Great . . . out-of-season tomato salad

If Dana can do it, anyone can do it. That's the message, anyway, in Dana Cowin's new cookbook "Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen: Learning to Cook With 65 Great Chefs and Over 100 Delicious Recipes" (Ecco, $34.99).

Not everyone who writes about food can actually cook it. In her work as the editor-in-chief of Food & Wine magazine, Cowin has to know the chefs, the restaurants and the trends. The recipes? Maybe not so much. So she set out to change that and get the chefs she deals with to help her figure out how to cook for herself. The result is a fun book, with tips and approachable recipes.

Despite our lingering late-summer this year, frost will hit soon, and it will carry off the last of the seasonal tomatoes. That will leave us with months of longing for something fresh on our plates. Cowin's easy salad would be great with the last of the "real" tomatoes and handy for the grape and cherry tomatoes we get after they're gone.

Bloody Mary Salad 

From "Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen," by Dana Cowin.

1/4 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
1/2 easpoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
Tabasco sauce to taste
1 pound cherry tomatoes, halves
4 large stalks celery, thinly sliced on the bias (diagonal)
1/4 cup Spanish green olives, pitted and roughly chopped

WHISK together the yogurt, salt, horseradish and vinegar in a small bowl. Add as much Tabasco as you like.

PLACE the tomatoes on a platter and scatter the celery and olives on top. Drizzle with the dressing and serve immediately.

MAKE AHEAD: The dressing can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

YIELD: 4 servings.