Celebrating Modern Jewish Living Through Food, Tradition, and Family
Tomato herring salad is an oldie but a goodie–a creamy dressing with savory seasoning and fresh herbs make this dish fresh, modern, and worth a second look.
The Backstory: How well I remember the oval can of Tomato Herring my mom always had in her pantry. It was her go to item that she used often when she wanted to prepare a fast salad to give to my dad. She would slice up some onions, tomatoes, lettuce and whatever she had on hand. Dad loved this and it was fast and easy for her to do. Herring of any type, more than likely originated in Russia, and was adopted by people from other European countries. This type of fish was very prominent in many Jewish homes. I know that my Bubbe brought fish from a push cart that was common in the early days of the 20th century. Over the years I heard stories of how, when fish was purchased and refrigeration was practically nil, the fish were placed in a bathtub with water. That is, if you were lucky enough to have a tub. More of the Backstory after the recipe…
…The Backstory continues: In those days, most foods were bought fresh on a daily basis. Fast forward to the present, I always keep a can of sardines in my pantry. Tomato Herring is just like sardines but with tomato sauce. My brother-in law, whom I see frequently, does not eat any of the other fishes I serve, like lox. whitefish, baked salmon, etc. So sardines or tomato herring is a staple I always have a can on hand for him. And it reminds me of my Bubbe.