It's my birthday today. 28 years old. Can you believe it? I'm not telling you this because I'm looking for good wishes and presents (although if you want to send some that's fine), I'm telling you this because in a few minutes I'm off to Bramon Wine Estate to get drunk on bubbly. With that in mind, this entry is going to be a short guy. This recipe is a perfect example of the vibe I like to go for in summer. Ridiculously easy, healthy and light, it celebrates the beautiful tomatoes that are around at the moment. Perfect.
Stuff you'll need to feed 4:
- A big bowl of mixed tomatoes (Try get as many shapes and sizes as possible. If you can get your hands on some yellow or green tomatoes, even better. What you are looking for here is variety.)
- The best, and I mean THE BEST balsamic vinegar you can find. I personally would recommend buying an expensive one. You won't use it too often and it will turn dishes like this from average to amazing.
- The best extra virgin olive oil you can find (as above, the reasoning is the same)
- A handful of basil leaves
- A cup of table salt
Okay, what to do:
1. Cut your tomatoes into irregular shapes. Halve some, quarter the bigger ones, slice some up, leave some whole etc. Have a bit of fun and get creative.
2. Place the tomatoes in a large colander and pour the salt over them. Leave them for about 45 minutes, shaking them every now and then to distribute the salt evenly. What the salt does is extract all the water from the tomatoes leaving a delicious, intense flavour. Trust me, you didn't know tomatoes could taste this good.
3. To serve, simply place the tomatoes on a white platter. Squash some with your hands to release what juices are left. Again, the difference in textures is what we are after. Tear the basil leaves over the tomatoes and finish with some black pepper and a drizzle of balsamic and olive oil.
The Queen (see what I did there?) was BUMMED when I refused to add cheese to this dish. Yes, it would be good but I really love the simplicity of the tomatoes. I have made it again since the photo and added some finely chopped red onion and a drizzle of pesto. That's as far as I'm prepared to go on this one. Enjoy.