Potluck tomato basil salad

I like to take this one to potlucks.  It’s so bright, colorful, flavorful, and healthful.  There’s not usually many healthy alternatives at potlucks, so it’s generally greatly appreciated.

Sorry – again one that I don’t measure. .. but that’s the way I tend to cook (unless I’m baking), if you haven’t figured that out yet.

- Cherry or grape tomatoes, washed, drained, and halved.
- a large handful of basil leaves, washed, drained, and shredded.
- scallions or red onions, diced finely
- celery washed, drained and diced (optional)
- 1 clove of very finely crushed, diced garlic (go easy on the garlic if this is for a potluck or public supper… most folks don’t take kindly to strong garlic.  I, on the otherhand, can never get enough of it! :)
- basalmic vinegar
- black pepper to taste

Toss everything together, adding only enough vinegar to flavor lightly. (you don’t want soupy salad, and the tomatoes will release their juices as the dish sits… keep that in mind.)  If you make it a bit ahead of time and find that it’s too soupy, you can drain the dish and add a little extra basalmic vinegar again.

I like to garnish with a small, pretty sprig of basil.

To “fancy” the dish up a little, I’ll place the bowl w/salad on a platter.  Fill the platter that’s exposed (not covered by the bowl) with shredded lettuce and a few quartered black olives for accent (or even a little shredded motzerella cheese), or crackers with slices of fresh mozzarella cheese.  Note:  Don’t mix the cheese in with the salad.  While it’ll be tasty, it’ll end up looking disappointingly unappetizing.

enjoy!

PS – if you like a little zip to your dish, add a hint of finely diced jalepeno.  Remember to wash your hands very well when you’re done chopping or you’ll be sorry!

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