Friday, September 7, 2007

Summer Perfection

I've been doing my usual lunchtime thing of trawling food blogs, and I noticed several entries about heirloom tomatoes. Which brings me to a simple recipe for an amazing salad that I came up with this summer. We were on holiday in Greece, Santorini, to be exact, and staying in an apartment, planning to cook some of our own meals. Santorini is an island that formed from a volcano, and something about the volcanic soil is meant to produce special tomatoes. So we bought a bunch of Santorini tomatoes to go with our meals. One bite and we were hooked - these are the more intense, flavourful, sweet, fruity, tomato-ey tomatoes we'd ever tasted. We wanted a side dish to go with a simple meal of moong dal and rice, and this not only met the requirements but became a staple for the rest of the week.

Plum tomatoes - count about 6 per head, sliced in half
3-4 cloves garlic
Really good extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
Basil if you want to be naffy

Put the cut tomatoes into a bowl. Pound the garlic into pulp and add to the bowl and toss. Leave for about half hour. Add salt just before serving, else the tomatoes go all watery, and toss to mix. Drizzle the olive oil generously over the top. If you really want to, tear the basil leaves roughly and scatter on top. ( coriander leaves would taste equally great!)

This tasted great with a relatively bland Indian meal, but would go well with a cheesy pasta (Alfredo?) too. The tomato juices at the bottom of the bowl are lovely for mopping up with a bit of crusty bread.

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