Pickled Tomato and Cherry Picnic Salad


I’ve always felt that picnics should form a category of food all on its own. Think about it, picnics are completely different to any other style of dining. They don’t fall under canapés, starters, mains or dessert – yet they can be a combination of everything at once. You can also dress them up or dress them down depending on the occasion. Just a fresh crusty loaf, a good cheese and an easy-going wine are enough to call it a picnic. But by the same token, you can pull all the stops, complete with a marquee tent, lots of poufs and a large feast with tapas and bubbly. It’s one of my favourite pastimes in Nice, especially on a summery Sunday at Saint Jean Cap Ferrat. But I never pass up the opportunity to picnic in the Cape Winelands. I made this scrumptious salad recently on one such winelands visit and thought this cherry (tomato) inspired delight was just too good not to share!


Cooking Time: 30 min | Drying time: overnight | Serves: 4


for the pickle

2 large tomatoes

120 ml white balsamic vinegar

80 ml white wine vinegar

200 ml water

50 ml brown sugar

5 ml salt

1 bay leaf

2 ml dried chili flakes (optional)

5 black peppercorns

for the vinaigrette

30 ml tomato pickling liquid

10 ml dijon mustard

5 ml brown sugar (optional)

5 ml dried tomato seeds

80 ml olive oil

50 ml grape seed oil

salt and pepper to taste

for the salad

100 g sugar snap peas

250 g mixed baby tomatoes

120 g wild rocket

170 g asparagus

60 g cherries

pickled tomatoes


Sterilise 1 x 250 ml glass preserve jar.

Pre heat oven to 60°C. Place the vinegar, water, salt and sugar in a small saucepan. Place on heat and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar. Add the pepper corns, chili flakes and bay leaf and simmer for 10 minutes.

Prepare the tomatoes while the pickling liquid is simmering by slicing the tomatoes in 8 wedges and removing the seeds. Place the seeds on paper towel to remove excess moisture. Place on an oven tray lined with a baking paper and dry overnight.

Place the tomato wedges inside the glass jar and top with the pickling liquid, ensuring the jar is filled with the liquid. Close the jar carefully and allow to cool down at room temperature.

for the vinaigrette

In a mixing bowl whisk together the mustard, pickling liquid, and dried tomato seeds. Add salt and pepper to taste. Slowly whisk in the oils until thickened.

Store in the fridge until needed. Whisk again just before serving.

for the salad

Remove the pips from the cherries and slice in half. Prepare all the ingredients for the salad and mix in a bowl. Drizzle with the vinaigrette. Serve with remaining vinaigrette on the side.

Reserve left over pickled tomatoes.

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