Thursday, January 24, 2013

Heirloom Tomato Salad

Three years ago today Sam and I got married. Three weeks before that, Sam’s Aunt Jane and Uncle David gave us this amazing Dinosaur Designs platter. We were incredibly touched, both by the generosity of the gift and by the beauty of the piece. I’d like to think that we will cherish every wedding present and remember who gave it to us (so far, so good), but this one is particularly notable.
I have always thought that this platter deserves a colourful salad, although I’ve not yet been game enough to serve beetroot on it. I pictured a bright red, yellow and green salad of heirloom tomatoes however I haven’t been able to grow any (more on that later) and such delicacies are hard to find in Tamworth.
 Fortunately, all of my tomato salad dreams came true last week, when a family friend and my in-laws offloaded a kilo or so of Digger’s Heirloom collection.  
 Wash all tomatoes before cutting in to rough chunks and placing in a large mixing bowl. Preserve variety by considering each tomato’s shape and by slicing bigger tomatoes into thick horizontal slices. Drizzle generously with extra virgin olive oil – I used Chapman Hill New Norcia – and sprinkle with sea salt flakes. Turn gently in the bowl to ensure an even coverage, adding more oil and salt as you go, then leave for an hour.
Arrange tomatoes on your own beautiful platter, reserving the juice in the bottom of the mixing bowl. Taste the juice, adjust for seasoning and add a splash of red wine vinegar if you would like a sharper flavour, before pouring the juice over the tomatoes. Scatter with basil, pepper and buffalo mozzarella (if you have any – I used feta) and serve at room temperature.

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