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Tomato Marigold Salad, Campari Onions

Serves 4-6

© by Al Douglas

Of the hundreds of fruits and vegetables we nurture on our farm, perhaps none is heralded and revered as much as the tomato. In our annual pursuit of warm-from-the-sun, vine-ripe flavour, we grow many, many types. Tomatoes are so essential in our kitchen that with so many variables on our biodynamic farm, we hedge our bets with variety. As the season comes and goes so do many individual types. One thing never changes, though: in every long row of tomatoes, every other plant is a fragrant marigold bush. Their perfume annoys the heck out of various pests, so our tomatoes are pest-free. We’ve also discovered that marigolds are beyond edible — they’re delicious. Their bright multicoloured flowers have a light, sweet fragrance, while their tender frond-like leaves have a deeper herbaceous flavour. It’s only natural that ripe tomatoes and marigolds are a perfect pairing. It’s also epically validating for our farm.

Pickle the onions the day before you need them. You’ll find the pleasingly bitter flavour of the Campari pairs well with the tart,   sweet tomatoes.


Campari Onions

  • Red Wine Vinegar 1 cup
  • Sugar ½ cup
  • Campari ½ cup
  • Red Onions 2 or 3, sliced into thin rings


  • Shallots 2, very finely minced
  • Sherry Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar ¼ cup
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil ¼ cup
  • Pure Liquid Honey 1 Tbs
  • Dijon Mustard 1 tsp
  • Sea Salt ½ tsp
  • Freshly Ground Pepper

Tomato Marigold Salad

  • Ripe Seasonal Tomatoes 5 lb
  • Sea Salt
  • Freshly Ground Pepper
  • Freshly Picked Marigold Leaves 1 cup
  • Freshly Picked Marigold Flowers 1 cup

Cook It

  1. Make the Campari Onions: Measure the red wine vinegar, sugar, and Campari into a medium saucepan. Bring to a full boil over medium heat. Gently stir in the red onions. Cover tightly, remove from the heat, and let sit at room temperature until cool, 1 to 2 hours. Cover and refrigerate overnight. They will last up to a month.
  2. Make the Vinaigrette: Into a 2-cup mason jar, measure the shallots, sherry vine- gar, liquid sunshine dressing, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper. Tightly screw on the lid and vigorously shake into a smooth dressing. Reserve until ready to serve or store overnight in the fridge. Shake before serving.
  3. Make the Tomato Marigold Salad: Slice and dice the tomatoes into smaller bite-sized pieces. Transfer to a medium bowl. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Drizzle evenly with the vinaigrette. Top with a tangle or two of Campari onions. Sprinkle with the marigold leaves and flowers.
Excerpted from Farm, Fire & Feast: Recipes from the Inn at Bay Fortune by Michael Smith Copyright © 2021Michael Smith. Photography by Al Douglas. Published by Penguin Canada®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.