Turn Your Bloody Mary Cocktail Into A Bright, Tasty Tomato Salad

Bloody Mary as drink and salad
Bloody Mary as drink and salad - Static Media / Shutterstock / Instagram

Why does a Bloody Mary stand in a class by itself? Why is it so revered for restorative properties that it has earned a place at the breakfast and brunch table? Well, because a Bloody Mary is so much more than just a cocktail. To state the obvious, it is savory and vegetable-centered, eschewing the fruity sweetness that most cocktails hang on. What's more? It is dense and opaque, packed with, yes, alcohol, but also piquant flavors and fiber. There are austere versions, but more commonly these days, a Bloody Mary is stout and thick and overflowing with a bevy of garnishes, from light, classic celery to more outlandish fare, like cheeseburgers.

The flavors that make up a classic Bloody Mary -- tomato, celery, salt, horseradish, olives, lemon, hot sauce, black pepper, etc. -- work wonders in a glass. That said, they needn't be contained to just one beverage or even be married to alcohol to be appreciated together. When summer tomatoes are ripe and delicious, consider turning them into a salad with a healthy dose of inspiration from a Bloody Mary. Tomatoes, celery, cucumbers, and olives make up the bulk of the salad, providing tartness, salt, and crunch in every bite. Even blood-red beets would be welcome. The dressing should lean heavily on staples like hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and horseradish, giving spice and zing to the vegetables below.

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As Easy To Make As A Bloody Mary

bloody mary panzanella salad
bloody mary panzanella salad - Jacek Chabraszewski/Shutterstock

Constructing a Bloody Mary salad is relatively simple. Chop the tomatoes in accordance with their size. Large beefsteak tomatoes and heirlooms can be sliced thickly or cut into manageable wedges. Smaller tomatoes, such as cherry and grape varieties, can be halved. Cucumbers can either be sliced or crushed with the back of a knife for irregular chunks with loads of surface area. The olives -- and here salty green olives such as Castelvetranos work best -- should be sliced to about an eighth of an inch thickness. For the dressing, whisk together lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce or a bit of cayenne, a touch of grated horseradish, if you like, and olive oil. To this, you can also add spices, such as the aforementioned cayenne or even chili flakes as well as celery seeds or salt and black pepper.

The above is, of course, just a simple structure for a Bloody Mary salad covering the broad and common flavors and ingredients found therein. You can easily customize it, just as you might the cocktail. If you are a fan of heat or a particular hot sauce, make sure to add a few dashes to the dressing. And, just as proteins are so often used to garnish Bloody Marys, so, too, can they be added to this salad. Shrimp makes for not just a fun garnish, but plays well with the robust flavors of a Bloody Mary salad.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.