Tomato, Gruyère and Red Onion Salad

Do you remember the last time you had a salad dressing that was not made with olive oil? "My family always used sunflower oil—not olive oil," says Jean-Georges Vongerichten, because sunflowers bloomed abundantly where he grew up in Alsace. The neutral oil has a way of making all the other flavors more vibrant. This zingy salad can be served year-round, though in winter you'll want to substitute grape tomatoes for the beefsteak here.Plus: More Vegetable Recipes and Tips

Total Time:
15 mins


  • 2 beefsteak tomatoes (1 pound), thickly sliced

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 3/4 pound Gruyère cheese, shredded (3 cups)

  • 1/4 cup sunflower or other mild oil

  • 2 tablespoons Melfor vinegar (see Note) or apple cider vinegar

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley


  1. Arrange the tomato slices on a platter and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Mound the cheese on top and drizzle with the oil and vinegar. Garnish with the red onion and parsley and serve.


Melfor vinegar, a typical Alsatian condiment seasoned with honey and infused with herbs, is available at

Serve With

In Alsace this salad is served with cold chunks of cervelas, a knockwurstlike sausage, but it's also delicious when cooked with grilled or roasted chicken, pork chops or steak.

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