strawberry tomato salad

October 9th, 2019

A long time ago, I read Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain, where he said there were three things that made all the difference between restaurant kitchens and home kitchens.  Those things, if you can’t guess, are fresh herbs, squeeze bottles, and pastry rings.

Those three items, at least to me, were a bit of a revelation.  Fortunately, I live fairly close to a kitchen supply store, so within a few weeks, I’d picked up squeeze bottles and pastry rings.  The squeeze bottles led to lovely dishes like this and this, and fresh herbs had always been a staple of my kitchen.  But those pastry rings — for some reason, I remained a little terrified of them. 

I mean, I used them for desserts fairly regularly.  But here, where I wanted to take a simple summer salad and make it into something special-looking, I had a feeling it was time to get over my fears. 

And wow, they sure did.  Anthony Bourdain knows his stuff!  This was so pretty and elegant, I only wished we had company to serve it to!  So if you’re looking for something to add a little ‘wow’ factor to an everyday dinner (and a really healthy one, at that!), all you need is this little restaurant trick.  Get them on Amazon here, or at your local cooking supply store!

strawberry tomato salad recipe


1 cup cherry tomatoes, diced into very small cubes (about 1/4″ per side)
1 cup small strawberries, trimmed and diced into very small strips (about 1/4″ per side)
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp aged balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 ounce goat cheese, crumbled


In small mixing bowl, toss together tomatoes, strawberries, oil, vinegar, and salt. Let marinate at room temperature 10 minutes.

To serve, place the mixture into a 3″ diameter pastry ring on individual plates, pressed to pack lightly.  Remove the rings delicately, top each salad with goat cheese, and serve.

Serves four.

Tags: appetizers · food

29 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Joanne // Aug 15, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Somehow I missed that sentence in Kitchen Confidential and so I have all except the pastry rings.  Of course. I wonder if Broadway Panhandler has them…

    They definitely up the WOW factor on this strawberry tomato salad.  Although in my opinion, it was already pretty WOW to begin with.

  • 2 Pearl Lee // Aug 15, 2010 at 11:10 am

    absolutely gorgeous!

  • 3 Lauren @ Eat, Drink, and Be Hopeful // Aug 15, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    This looks so incredibly refreshing.  I’ve never thought of putting tomatoes and strawberries together, but I can imagine that would be pretty tasty.  I love strawberries in balsamic and tomatoes with balsamic so I bet I would love this!

  • 4 Mercedes // Aug 15, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    Pastry rings are defintely a must in my kitchen… squeeze bottles are not so used, though i have a few, but unfortunately yet fresh herbs are my pending subject, although i am working hard in order not to “kill” every plant KI get for my appartment… that salad looks delicious BTW!

  • 5 emilyz // Aug 15, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    GORGEOUS! so creative.  sooooo pretty!

  • 6 melrod // Aug 15, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    That looks soooooo yummy!!  Making my mouth water.  I’m new to your blog, and it’s lovely.

    Hope you come visit and follow my blog.


  • 7 Annelise // Aug 15, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    So pretty! I’ve been using ramekins to bake individual cakes, but never a pastry ring. Sadly, I’m not allowing myself to purchase any more kitchen gadgets until I get a bigger kitchen, but when I do I’ll definitely add pastry rings to the mix!

  • 8 Kathy - Panini Happy // Aug 15, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    Definitely a fantastic use for pastry rings – what a beautiful summer salad!

  • 9 Pearl // Aug 16, 2010 at 12:19 am

    This looks and sounds amazing. Add to my list of “to make”.

  • 10 Kristen // Aug 16, 2010 at 5:35 am

    When you said you were making this salad, I didn’t realize you were making it look so pretty.  I love the finished product!

  • 11 sarah // Aug 16, 2010 at 5:52 am

    Wow, you’re right. They are beautiful. I wonder if you could use a round cookie cutter? It’s a bit shorter, of course.

  • 12 pam // Aug 16, 2010 at 5:58 am

    amazing — I’m subscribing to your site!

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  • 14 Rachel // Aug 17, 2010 at 11:51 am

    STUNNING. Love this recipe presentation more than anything!!

    And love Bourdain. My first favorite restaurant in the city was Les Halles, near my old apt. Duck confit with truffled potatoes = heaven.

  • 15 UrMomCooks // Aug 18, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Strawberries and tomatoes totally rock! I have seen peaches and tomatoes making the rounds lately, but the strawberry twist sounds awesome! This will be a welcome little side at a summer dinner!

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  • 17 Mitzi // Aug 22, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    you had me at anthony bourdain, lol! now i must search out some decent strawberries to make these salads; the bloody snails keep snacking on ours.

  • 18 James Garner // Aug 24, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    A foodie, fashionable, and she quotes Bourdaine.  Wow, is all I can say.  If you ever find yourself in Seattle, let’s do lunch.

  • 19 Gina @ // Aug 25, 2010 at 7:13 am

    Beautiful! I need to buy a pastry ring!

  • 20 janet // Aug 26, 2010 at 7:11 am

    Gorgeous! Beautiful presentation with a winning salad! Love it! Is it hard to remove the pastry rings? I wonder whether a small springform pan would work too – would it be easier to open up again?

  • 21 Katy // Aug 26, 2010 at 7:39 am

    They were actually super easy to remove!  I was surprised — I was totally holding my breath and ready for disaster, but they came off really easily!  I actually think a springform pan might be harder, because the movement wouldn’t be as smooth…

  • 22 maria // Aug 29, 2010 at 10:22 am

    This is so creative!  I can’t wait to try it.

  • 23 Meredith // Sep 1, 2010 at 8:48 am

    Oh man this looks delicious! And your photographs are beautiful! Everything here looks great!
    I recently launched my own blog, I’d love for you to check it out and let me know what you think! 🙂 Thanks!

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  • 25 Teresa Taylor // Dec 11, 2012 at 10:12 am

    This salad looks amazing! I can’t wait to try it. I also agree with the whole kitchen ring thing. I’ve made tuna tartare a few times and have often thought about how much more appealing it is in a restaurant when it comes formed and neat. You’ve given me a great excuse to visit the kitchen supply store, as if I needed one. 🙂

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