Its tomato season here which means we have the proverbial fruit figuratively coming out of our ears. I don’t mind too much though; I am a big lover of pomodori and they are a key element in almost all Italian cuisine. As you can imagine, now is the time we are busy picking, making passata and sundrying in preparation for winter.
My favourite thing to do with tomatoes, apart from eating them off the vine after giving them a quick shine on my shirt (yup just like your grandpa) is to make this amazingly-simple-yet-extremely-tasty-goes-with-anything-but-is-perfect-for-putting-on-top-of-bread tomato salad. It’s great because it takes minimal time and requires minimal ingredients – you can be a grand or as simple as you like.
The key is to this dish is to make sure your tomatoes are ripe and your olive oil is extra virgin and that’s it.
For a bit of variation you can add thinly sliced raw onion or diced cucumber. You can make it without fresh basil, you can add other herbs or you can make it with no herbs at all. You could also add some thinly sliced sweet pepper or carrot for some crunch or fresh chilli for a bit of a kick.
Super Easy Italian Tomato Salad:
Serves 2 but you can easily decrease or increase the amounts for less or more people.
Time: 10 mins prep and its ready to eat.
Equipment: medium sized salad bowl, a knife and a spoon.
- 500g tomatoes – cherry or salad or whatever you’ve got in the fridge.
- Handful of fresh basil – washed and chopped.
- 50-60ml or 3-4 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil .
- 2 good pinches of salt or 2-3 twists of a salt mill.
- Crusty sliced bread – ciabatta is perfect but anything with a firm crust will work so the bread maintains its shape when its loaded with salad.
- Variation ingredients of your choice – washed and finely chopped.
- Wash your tomatoes (everything from outside must be washed!) take off the stems and chop off the tops and if you feel like it, take the core out of the centre.
- Chop your tomatoes into chunks; if you’re using big ones chop them into eight (ish). Small tomatoes can be in fours. They don’t have to all be the same size pieces and I find its quite nice to have a bit of variety.
- Put the cut tomatoes into your bowl and add the chopped basil. If you’re using any variation ingredients add them now.
- Sprinkle on your salt and give the mixture a stir.
- Add the olive oil and give it all a really good stir. At this point you should notice tomato juices mixing in the bowl with the olive oil – this is a good and tasty thing. The salt has helped to release the juices from the tomatoes and without the tops the tomato seeds are free to roam. You are welcome to add more oil but be careful not to add too much – your tomatoes do not know how to swim.
- Let the ingredients sit for a minute or two for that tasty tomato/olive oil mixture to develop and thats it…
Method 1: leave the salad in the bowl and serve as part of a meal.
Method 2: put your crusty bread on a plate and generously spoon the salad over each slice.
Method 3: toast your bread for bruschetta (perfect if your bread is a day or 2 old) and spoon the salad over it.
With method 2 and 3- make sure to spoon over some of the tasty juices from the bowl.
For photo instructions follow this link