Tomato Salad

9 Aug

I know, a tomato salad. Simple, right? Well, yes, and no. Tomato salad needs only a few ingredients, but this is one dish where organic, fresh and local really count. Go to the market, or the grocery store, and really look at the vegetables on offer. Smell, feel, prod, poke. When you only use a few key ingredients, freshness is all. A good tomato is one you can actually smell – that ineffable scent that is only tomato. This is a dish to have up your sleeve when you are serving heavy foods. Its fresh, delicious – tasty and sweet. Its a perfect complement to stews and breads – the juices of the tomatoes beg to be mopped up and savoured.

This salad brightens up any meal. When I make a grilled cheese sandwich, I serve a small side salad of these tomatoes. When I have a huge hoard over and am serving stew or sausages, or anything heavy, I offer these tomatoes. Its so easy to make and is really a wonderful addition to any party meal. When you serve lots of people, you want them to feel abundance. Adding an extra dish, especially one as easy as this, makes people feel your generosity.

This dish is all about the tomato. Make sure you pick ripe, bright, red, luscious ones – and try and make them organic if possible. It really makes a difference! Cooking is not just about putting ingredients together – its about forethought when shopping!

Feeds about 12 – 14 people

  • 4 cups red cherry tomatoes
  • 4 cups yellow / mixed tomatoes
  • A pinch of sugar
  • Lemon Juice
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Fresh Basil
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 very thinly sliced white onion (optional)

Please note that you should buy the best tomatoes that are available – if you see that big fat beefsteak tomatoes are the best in store at the moment, get those. Just make sure you deseed them.

Cut the tomatoes in half (if small) or in large chunks, deseeded (if large)

Let the tomatoes sit in a bowl, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar. This will encourage the tomatoes to let go of a bit of their juice.

Sprinkle about 3 – 4 tablespoons lemon juice over the tomatoes.

In a separate bowl, sprinkle a few tablespoons lemon juice over the onions (if using), and let them sit until the acid in the lemon juice has mellowed out the onions.

Salt and pepper liberally.

Cut about ½ cup of fresh basil over.

Slick about ½ cup of olive oil over.

Mix. Taste. Adjust.

Refrigerate for at least an hour to allow flavours to meld. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.

If you have any left overs, blitz in the food processor with some chili for a wonderful salsa which is great with pita chips. Or roast in a very hot oven, with a few slivers of garlic until almost blistered and burnt, and mix with some hot cream for a pasta sauce that is out of this world. Or add to a stew or soup the next day. Tomatoes are so very versatile and add a hit of sweetness and brightness to any dish.

One Response to “Tomato Salad”

  1. goddessmoments August 10, 2010 at 10:27 am #

    Fresh and lush 🙂 xox

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