Fresh Tomato Salad Recipe

A summer side dish with grilled onions from Food Network chef Rob Rainford.


1 red onion, sliced into 1″ rings
2 tbsp canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
6 plum tomatoes

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup Champagne*
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh tarragon**
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste

* I had some leftover Champagne so I added it to the vinaigrette and it was fabulous. If you have no bubbly lying around, sparkling wine or white wine vinegar are good, too.

** For best flavour, chop the tarragon at the last minute.


Step 1: Two hours before grilling, whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together in a bowl and add onion rings, tossing to coat. Marinate at room temperature.

Step 2: Fire up your charcoal or preheat your gas grill. Grilling temperature should be around 325°F to 350°F. Prep the grill for cooking over direct heat.

Step 3: Core the tomatoes then cut them lengthwise into quarters. You want large, chunky pieces for this rustic grilled salad.

Step 4: Remove the onion rings from the vinaigrette, reserving the vinaigrette. Brush the onion rings lightly with a little canola oil and season them with salt and black pepper.

Step 5: Place the onion rings on the grill and cook until lightly charred, 6-10 minutes per side on medium-high heat.

Step 6: Remove onion rings from the grill and set aside to cool slightly. Whisk the vinaigrette until nice and thick.

Step 7: To assemble the salad, combine the tomatoes, cooled onion rings and vinaigrette in a bowl and you’re done. Serve this salad buffet-style or in individual salad bowls.

See more recipes from Rob Rainford.

Reprinted with permission from Rob Rainford’s Born to Grill (2012 Appetite by Random House).