Wednesday 24 May 2017

Madhouse recipe : Tomato salad, two ways

If you try to eat what's in season, the chances are you're tucking into lots of juicy fresh tomatoes at the moment, but did you know that this week is British Tomato Week? I always try to buy local produce from farmers' markets because it helps cut down on my carbon footprint, but choosing British fruit and veggies instead of foreign counterparts also helps our economy and our British farmers so it's a win-win situation. Another bonus is that tomatoes are a good source of Vitamins A, C and E and the antioxidant lycopene, and studies have shown that ripe British tomatoes have a considerably higher lycopene content than their imported long-life variety counterparts. To get the most out of your tomatoes, they should always be stored at room temperature, as refrigeration is detrimental to their flavour.

Yesterday I shared a quick and simple recipe for cream of tomato soup, which tasted surprisingly like the tinned variety but with the added bonus of knowing exactly what went into it. Today, I have a couple of different versions of tomato salad to share with you that are perfect as a side dish when you're having a barbecue.

Cherry Tomato Salad

Ultra simple but bursting with fresh flavours - chop cherry tomatoes into quarters, scatter over some fresh chopped basil and drizzle in a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar. Stir to evenly coat the tomatoes, add a couple of whole basil leaves to decorate and serve at room temperature.

If you want something more complex, here's a suggestion from British Tomatoes.

Three Tomato Salad with Avocado & Bacon

This gorgeous platter of tomatoes uses a trio of British favourites – classic, cherry and baby plum – with sliced avocado and crispy bacon, dressed with a wholegrain mustard, cider vinegar and olive oil dressing. Yum!

Serves 2-4
 Prep time: 15min 
Cook time: 5min

ingredients ;

6 British Classic Tomatoes, sliced
12 British Cherry Tomatoes, halved
12 British Baby Plum Tomatoes
1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted and peeled
6 rashers streaky bacon
A few basil leaves

3tbsp olive oil
2tbsp cider vinegar
1tbsp wholegrain mustard
Pinch of sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 Preheat the grill.

2 Share the slices of classic tomato between 2 serving plates, or arrange them on 1 large platter. Scatter the cherry tomato halves and baby plum tomatoes on top.

3 Slice the avocado neatly, and arrange on top of the tomatoes. Put the rashers of bacon onto the grill pan and grill until crispy.

4 While the bacon is cooking, make the dressing by whisking together the olive oil, cider vinegar and wholegrain mustard. Season with a pinch of sugar, salt and pepper.

5 Snip the bacon rashers over the tomatoes, then serve, sprinkled with the dressing and a few basil leaves.

Cook’s tip: Choose your own favourite British tomatoes for this wonderful salad – try a combination of Beef, Large Vine, Classic, Baby Plum or Cherry – just aim to choose 3 varieties with a size or shape variation.

Do you have a favourite recipe for tomato salad?

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