I know it's not tomato season in the Northern Hemisphere, but it is sweet onion season here in Japan, and this is one of my favorite ways to use them.
Sweet onions are a category of low-sulfur onion varieties grown in areas such as Vidalia, Maui, and Walla Walla in the US. Because they contain far less sulfur than regular onions, they don't have the pungent tear-inducing taste of onions, making them taste very sweet. This makes them well suited for salads. In this one, I've marinated them with earthy black vinegar and nutty sesame oil to make for a crispy, sweet, and sour dressing that's so good it can turn off-season hothouse tomatoes into a sweet and refreshing salad.
The marinated onions also work as a topping for other vegetables and seafood, so it's a good one to have in the repertoire when you want to add some crisp sweetness to a dish.
- 4 small tomatoes cored and cut into wedges
- 60 grams sweet onions thinly sliced
- ¼ teaspoon salt plus more for sprinkling
- 2 teaspoons black vinegar
- 1½ teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- cilantro for garnish
- Put the sliced onions in a bowl, sprinkle with the salt, and massage the mixture together until the onions begin to wilt and release some liquid.
- Add the black vinegar and sesame oil and mix together.
- Plate the tomatoes and sprinkle with salt.
- Pour the marinated onions and liquid over the tomatoes to dress.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve.