This sweet, tangy Marinated Tomato Salad with homemade Catalina dressing creates a colorful side dish even when tomatoes are not at their best.
My mother (Jenna’s grandmother) started making this salad back in the 60’s. We serve it at almost every family event. It’s fresh, delicious and colorful. 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 flavor, 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 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 flavors.
I serve this marinated tomato 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 colors. And great for buffets and potlucks. Try it with Vegetable Chicken Meatloaf, Grilled Chili Lime Chicken Wings or Classic Prime Rib Roast.
Shortcut for Marinated Tomato Salad
- Use bottled Catalina dressing. I did this for years and it’s great.
Tailor To Your Taste
- Add diced avocado before serving
- Garnish with finely chopped parsley or chives
Marinated Tomato Salad Recipe
- 1 lb tomatoes (I use about 9-10 larger cocktail tomatoes)
- 4 green onions
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 2 tbsp sugar (or 1 1/2 of you prefer less sweet)
- 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup neutral tasting olive oil or Canola oil
- PREPARE TOMATOES AND GREEN ONIONS: Finely chop green onions. Slice tomatoes to 1/4 or 1/2 inch thick. If you are using regular tomatoes, you can cut each slice in half. If tomatoes have a lot of juice and seeds, I grab a bunch at a time and give them a good squeeze between my two hands over the sink. This will prevent the salad from becoming too watery.
- MAKE THE CATALINA DRESSING: In a food processor or blender, add all Catalina Dressing ingredients except oil. Pulse a few times until blended. Slowly add the oil and process for a minute. Alternatively, whisk ingredients together in a bowl and slowly add in oil while whisking until thickened.
- LAYER THE TOMATO SALAD INGREDIENTS: In a medium sized bowl (glass if possible to see all the colours), add a tablespoon or so of dressing to cover the bottom. Place the tomatoes in a single layer on top of dressing. Lightly sprinkle tomatoes with salt. Sprinkle with some green onions. Repeat layers, ending with green onions. Cover and let sit for an hour or two on the counter or up to one day in the fridge to blend the flavors.