Plum Tomato Salad with Buttermilk Dressing – 2019 Red Carpet Menu for Oscar®

KitchAnnette Tomato Salad FEATURE

It’s the 2019 Red Carpet Menu for Oscar®! For Roma, it’s Romas!

My dislike of one-word titles is doubled this year, however this one was a cinch… not even a question! If it’s going to be one word, let that word be useful for FOOD! Haha! And what’s interesting in my observation of this year’s Best Picture nominees, the two black-and-white posters use gold type. It means NOTHING but it’s quite a coincidence.

The title of Roma is misleading right off. The first reaction is that it must be about Rome, Italy in some way. The poster doesn’t inform the movie except for the obvious love and comfort of the people who must be in the movie. And neither Roma has a beach so it was a compelling “what is that about” moment.

KitchAnnette Tomato Salad White

As we learn, Roma is a neighborhood in Mexico City and the movie follows the life of a live-in housekeeper of a middle-class family, both going through seismic changes as is the city they live in. It is not a high-energy film… it’s slower paced and thoughtful. Much more a visual triumph than riveting conversations to move it along. And look at Netflix taking over entertainment! I believe they had it on a few screens to qualify for the Academy but it’s popularity has grown through streaming distribution. You can bet a lot of powerful films will be released this way moving forward, although there’s no comparison to sitting without distraction in a theater watching a huge screen and falling into the story.

And what was easy to fall into for this dish was what it would be. Being in the produce biz and growing up Italian-American in the Bronx, I hear “Roma” and I counter “tomato”! Roma tomatoes are plum tomatoes, those cute little fruits thought of as vegetables that make so many things taste great.

As per the “rules” of the menu, the name was a snap, a la our “True Grits” for “True Grit” a few years back. This would be a tomato salad but it had to connect to the movie so I simply added jalapeño peppers. A little sexy heat is very Mexican – the food, the people… YES! The dressing is my nod to our southern cuisine theme and works wonderfully! It’s flavorful and cool to complement not only this salad but the dishes leading up to this.

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Making a buttermilk dressing was so easy… a recipe where you just combine ingredients and you’re done is the best recipe! I love using fresh herbs and not only tasting them in the dressing BUT the flavor of the combination is what makes this dressing one that you’ll keep on hand all the time. Forget the bottled ranch ones… this is the one you want! To go on this fresh and bright Roma salad! Ohhhhh yes.

KitchAnnette Tomato Salad AZ







Plum Tomato Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

Annette Zito, KitchAnnette™
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 8


The Salad:

  • 6 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 hothouse cucumber, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, deseeded and chopped

The Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper


  • In a medium bowl, add all dressing ingredients and blend well. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate for about an hour.
  • In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumbers, onion and peppers. Mix in the desired amount of dressing and serve.


You can use the dressing immediately but it's best when left in the fridge a bit to get cool and creamier!

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