Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Tomato Salad

It would seem to be a very simple thing to make a tomato salad - and it can be a very boring end result too.  But this one isn't.  The key to any salad containing tomatoes is that the tomatoes should be at ROOM TEMPERATURE!  Excuse my shouting but the number of times I have been to a restaurant and been served freezing cold tomatoes would make you think that even the professionals don't know this most basic of salad facts.  Cold tomatoes are tasteless and bland.  Bring them up to room temperature and their flavour is magically revealed... don't ask me why but its a fact, try it yourself and be amazed how much nicer your tomatoes are.... even better if you have grown them yourself.  Ours are not ready for eating yet... but when they are... it will be tomato salad every day until we are truly fed up with it.

First chop up very finely a salad onion or a shallot.  Sadly shallots seem to be totally foreign around here and the best I can do is a Cebolleta... which is a very large spring onion.  Next slice thinly about four or five tomatoes, there should be roughly slightly more tomato than onion.

Mix the tomato and onion together and add some very finely chopped garlic (1 clove should be enough).  This is your opportunity to make those fancy chopping noises with your knife on the chopping board, the kind that makes people think you know what you are doing, even if you don't!

Mix the garlic in and then squeeze a whole lemon over the top of the salad and dribble some good olive oil on top.

Now at this point you should garnish it with some coriander however ours has gone to seed so I picked some fresh basil instead.

Tomato and basil is a classic right?  I chopped the basil with a knife - yes I have heard that you should only tear it... what nonsense... I have done both and the result is exactly the same and since ours is Greek basil with the narrow leaves it isn't so easy to tear so the knife it was!

Leave the salad to infuse for several hours (at least 2 or 3) at room temperature.  If you don't have one of these to cover it with you could use clingfilm or a plate but don't be tempted to put it in the fridge.

et Voila!... lunch with some crusty bread and small glass of vino.  All you need now is some sunshine and you could be on holiday.

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