20 June 2016
Heritage tomato salad with basil and mozzarella
1. To make the dressing, spoon the vinegar and mustard into a bowl, add the sugar and plenty of salt and black pepper and whisk together. Peel and crush the garlic and stir it in. Add the olive oil, a spoonful at a time, whisking continually. 2. Slice the tomatoes fairly thinly across then arrange them on two plates, overlapping them and alternating the colours. Drizzle the dressing over the tomatoes. Leave it at room temperature for a few minutes so that the dressing can draw out and mingle with the tomato juices.
3. Pick the basil leaves from the stems, chop or tear them roughly into pieces and scatter it all over the tomatoes.
4. Slice the mozzarella into pieces and arrange it on top of the tomatoes. Garnish with a few more basil leaves and serve with hunks of fresh bread to mop up the juices on the plate.
Heritage tomatoes, also known as heirloom tomatoes, come in a wonderful variety of colours, shapes and sizes. They are older varieties of tomato, some of them passed down through several generations of families, which, as well as their attractive appearance, have their own individual flavours, a welcome change from some commercially grown red supermarket tomatoes.
When I was lucky enough to find some in my local farmer’s market, I decided to show them off in this very simple salad where there are few ingredients but each one is a quality ingredient; beautiful heritage tomatoes, fragrant basil, a good extra virgin olive oil, fresh Italian mozzarella and a freshly baked crusty loaf. A perfect summer meal put together in minutes!
This recipe makes enough for 2 individual servings, but you could easily make a large platter for a family meal, a buffet table or to accompany a barbecue.