Those that know me know that Sundays mean one thing for me: Bloody Marys. I’ve always loved them…and it’s not really a booze thing, either. In the ideal recipe, you shouldn’t taste a lot of vodka, anyway. Bloody Marys count as a food group to me because of the mix: the quality of the tomato juice used, the amount of briny flavor balanced with some heat, and the garnishes. I’m kind of a purist: I like a medium spicy mix with a good helping of horseradish, some olives or pickled veg (but not too many to get in the way of stirring), and a lemon wedge.
A salad version of my perfect Bloody Mary has been rattling around in my head for months…and knowing that I was going to be away for weeks and without my usual brunch routine, this was one of the last things I cooked before I went to Miami. The key here is marinating the tomatoes – if you want to skip the vodka, throw in a splash of white or red wine vinegar in its place. They soak up all of the Bloody Mary “marinade” and get extra juicy & luscious. Paired with the crunch of the celery and the salt of the olives, it’s a fun summer way to eat your favorite brunch drink.
Bloody Mary Salad – serves 4 as a salad course or side dish
This salad is based on my favorite Bloody Mary ingredients – feel free to alter the recipe to include things you like in yours: more citrus flavor, fresh anchovies, roasted red peppers or pimentos, or substitute the Blue cheese for Mozzarella for a boozy Caprese salad. It’s the perfect summer salad alongside proteins cooked on the grill or some pieces of toasty, charred bread.
- In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, minced garlic, vodka, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, lemon juice & zest, celery salt and hot sauce if you’re including it. Stir to make sure tomatoes are thoroughly coated. Cover and allow to marinate in the fridge for 1 hour. Remove and allow to come back to room temperature before assembling the salad.
- To assemble: I think this works best as a family style salad. Slice the blue cheese into thin slices or break into large chunks and arrange on a platter. Top the cheese with the tomato mixture and drizzle on any remaining liquid. Scatter the sliced celery & olives – as well as the reserved celery leaves – over the top. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Here are a couple other fun Bloody Mary related blog posts: