This tomato salad recipe is the perfect, sunny, flavourful accompaniment to long summer’s evenings in the garden, basking by the barbecue and drinking silly amounts of Pimms. There’s no cooking involved; just some slicing which is easily done with a glass by your side and the sun pouring in through the kitchen window.
If you’re like me, you’ll find yourself with a glut of tomatoes late in the summer. This salad is remarkable in that you can make it again and again, and it doesn’t become boring. It brings out the gorgeous flavour of the sun all those tomatoes have soaked up; the basil, oregano and sweet balsamic vinegar all work together to make your tomatoes platonically tomato-ish.
Use whatever tomatoes come to hand. This salad is really pretty with a couple of yellow tomatoes scattered among the reds, or with large and small-fruiting varieties mixed together. Here, I’ve used small vine tomatoes and some baby plum tomatoes. To serve four as a side dish (or two as a lunch on its own with some crusty bread) you’ll need:
20 small tomatoes (see note above)
1 handful basil leaves
½ handful oregano leaves
1 small clove garlic
1 ½ teaspoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons good olive oil
Salt and pepper
Slice the tomatoes and lay them out on a large serving plate. Slice the shallot into thin rings, chop the garlic as finely as you’re physically capable of, and scatter over. Roll the basil leaves into little tubes and slice them thinly to cut it into thin strips (chiffonade), and throw them over the salad with the whole oregano leaves.
Immediately before serving, drizzle the olive oil and balsamic vinegar over, and season with salt and plenty of pepper. Crusty bread will come in handy to mop up the juices.