Thursday, August 12, 2010
Tomato salad, inspired by Jamie
It's august and we're eating tomatoes on a daily basis. Not just excellent local, seasonal, organic tomatoes, but local, seasonal and organic tomatoes from our own little greenhouse. Considering the mishaps (I put the seeds down in way too late - in late April, I overcrowded the greenhouse, not all seeds and young plants made it), we can already say that we've had a pretty impressive first crop. Hopefully it's not just beginner's luck :D
We have about 20 different tomato varieties growing (mostly one container plant of each), so there's a lovely variety of shapes, sizes, colours, textures and flavours. Here's a tiny selection of our tomato crop, picked last weekend:
So far we've been enjoying tomatoes raw - in salads, on top of open sandwiches, or simply eating them out of our hands (our daughter is especially fond of all the tiny cherry and plum tomatoes!). Here's a simple tomato salad that has a superbly concentrated tomato flavour because of the flash-salting process - a tip I learned from Jamie Oliver's book "Jamie at Home".
(Oma aia tomatisalat)
Serves four to six
about a kilogram (just over 2 pounds) of ripe tomatoes - preferably of different sizes and varieties
one or two red onions
fresh (flowering) oregano
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp good-quality balsamic vinegar
a small garlic clove, crushed
freshly ground black pepper
Wash all the tomatoes, pat dry. Depending on their shape and size, cut them into halves or quarters or thick slices. Place on a large colander.
Peel and halve the onion(s), then cut into thin slices. Add to the colader.
Sprinkle generously with sea salt flakes, then toss the tomatoes and onions slightly. Leave to season and drain for about 15 minutes (no need to collect the salty tomato juices). The salting flavours the tomatoes, but also concentrates the flavour and 'dries' out the tomatoes a little, so you'll end up with extra tomatoey flavour!
Place the tomatoes into a large bowl, sprinkle with (flowering) oregano.
Combine the dressing ingredients and drizzle over the salad. Season with extra black pepper and serve.