While I happily eat my way through bowl after bowl of dressed green leaves, some dishes call out for a tomato salad. Ripe just to the point where the juices burst out as you slice them, but still firm enough to hold their shape is when they're at their sweetest best.
I don't really believe my son Noah's claims to not like tomato. His love of bolognese and other tomato sauces is at least a gateway I can give him a shove through. My daughter Maya, however, eats them like the world's last sweets. Especially cherry tomatoes so I often put a handful in her lunchbox which unlike bananas and apples, never return home. I'm sure Noah will come round to them one day, how sad life would be without tomato salad in it.
This works equally well with vinaigrette, but here I've dressed it lightly with excellent olive oil and a splash of thick, aged balsamic. Summer joy.
Ingredients 3-4 good sized ripe tomatoes 1 small round shallot, finely chopped An inch of cucumber, deseeded and finely chopped A few pinches of chopped, fresh parsley 1 spring onion, sliced Good olive oil and good balsamic to dress Salt and pepper to season
Method Slice the tomatoes and mix in the shallots. Leave to rest for about fifteen minutes then add the cucumber and spring onion. Drizzle with the oil and balsamic, sprinkle over the parsley and season well. This is great with charcuterie and good bread or equally delicious with grilled fish such as mackerel or a juicy steak.