Saltines Are the Key to This Southern Tomato Salad
Stacey Little, the Alabama food blogger behind Southern Bite, shares a simple dish to make with fresh summer tomatoes.
For as long as I can remember, my mom put this Tomato Cracker Salad on the table as soon as the summer tomatoes started producing well. I can still see the cut-glass bowl filled with the salad sitting on her freshly pressed Battenburg lace tablecloth.
When I was a kid we always had a pretty little garden tucked in the back corner of our yard, even if it was as simple as a few tomato and pepper plants. Many times though, it included squash, radishes, cucumbers, okra, even some carrots one year.
Now, we all know the first ones off the vine were destined for tomato sandwiches (this IS the south, you know) - on white bread, with a generous smear of Duke’s mayo, and heavy-handed pinch of salt and pepper. But once the kitchen windowsill was lined up with ripening tomatoes, it was time to put them to good use and make this salad.
Now I’ll admit, at first, folks look a little sideways at this one. I even garnered a few negative reviews on my cookbook because of this recipe. I mean, it’s tomatoes, crackers, salt, and pepper. I get it. It’s super basic and little strange. But you have to look a little bit beyond the individual ingredients and see this as a whole. Imagine that beloved, coveted tomato sandwich… except in delicious salad form.
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Honestly, I figured it was my mother’s own invention, so I was surprised to see other similar dishes out there. Many of those, include extra ingredients. For Mom, it was pure and simple… three ingredients and some salt and pepper. And the pepper is pretty important, so be generous. If you’re a fan of the classic tomato sandwich, I just know you’re going to love this one.
Blogger and Wall Street Journal best-selling author Stacey Little is committed to getting folks back to the table for dinner. His quick and easy recipes are helping busy families get a home-cooked meal on the table without a lot of hassle or expense. Southern Living Magazine has repeatedly named Stacey a top blogger to follow and a favorite Southern blogger. He has appeared on The Today Show and Fox and Friends and has lent his talents to national brands like Betty Crocker, White Lily, Martha White, Kraft, Queen Latifah, and Reese Witherspoon—just to name a few. Today, his easy, delicious recipes and heartfelt stories have brought tens of millions to his blog, SouthernBite.com, since he created it in 2008. Stacey's cookbook, The Southern Bite Cookbook, is available at book retailers across the country and online. Stacey's deep Southern roots have him firmly planted in central Alabama where he lives with his wife, little boy, two dogs, and his collection of cast iron skillets.