This sweet, tangy Tomato Salad with Homemade Catalina Dressing works well when tomatoes are not at their best but you still want pretty colours on the plate.
My mother (Jenna’s grandmother) started making this salad back in the 60’s and we served it at almost every family event for many years after that. It’s refreshing, flavourful and colourful. There is no need for an extra salad plate (I love that) and, best of all, you can serve it all year round. Most tomatoes in the winter have no flavour, but adding the Catalina dressing and green onions takes care of that.
I confess that our family recipe was made with Kraft Catalina dressing. I now prefer to make my own salad dressings (for the most part), so I decided to give it a shot. Sure enough, I found a 1960’s Catalina Dressing recipe on food.com – with great reviews to boot! I tried it several times and it comes out great. I tweaked it just a touch to my taste – less sugar and vinegar, but feel free to adapt it to your own taste. The salad only takes about 15 minutes to put together (even with the homemade dressing) and another hour or so to sit and blend its flavours.
I serve this salad with just about anything – meat, chicken, turkey or fish. It’s a perfect accompaniment for lox and bagels for brunch, especially served in a glass bowl where you peer through at the beautiful red and green colours. And great for buffets and potlucks. I have a couple of ways in mind to use the Catalina dressing…stay tuned.
- Use bottled Catalina dressing (!)
- Add diced avocado before serving
- Add finely chopped parsley
Here are two other refreshing salads that are served right on the plate: