Lovely tomatoes that taste of the sun, fragrant basil, cool goats cheese and spiky balsamic – a simple but really good salad for a hot summer’s day.
You can get tomatoes all year round in the supermarket, but most of them have been grown in a poly tunnel and travelled half way around the world and taste of nothing. A tomato that has been grown in sunshine is a wonderful thing and should be celebrated.
These big, juicy, seasonal tomatoes don’t have a long shelf life, so if you are lucky enough to get hold of them, make sure you enjoy them while they are at their best.
One of the best ways to enjoy them is a simple salad. This one uses very few ingredients as the tomatoes are the star of the show.
You could dress the tomatoes with an olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette, but simple balsamic vinegar, reduced until thickened, is really good here. Reducing the vinegar, really insensifies the depth and flavour. You could of course, just buy a bottle of ready made balsamic glaze which is the speediest option, but it’s really worth making your own for the best flavour.
I’ve made a large platter here, which is nice for people to help themselves, but this could easily be scaled down for two people to enjoy.
Assorted heritage tomatoes – as many as you like, I’ve added a few cherry tomatoes too
Goats cheese – around 100g per person
Balsamic vinegar – around 3/4 of a cup
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
To reduce the balsamic vinegar, place in a saucepan, bring to the boil and reduce the heat to low and leave for around 10 minutes or until thickened. Set aside and then refrigerate until you are ready to use.
Slice the tomatoes and arrange on your serving plate, sprinkling a little sea salt and freshly ground black pepper over the slices.
Tear some of the basil leaves and make sure some of the leaves are between the layers, leave some of them whole too.
Break up the goats cheese and scatter over the tomatoes, you can remove the rind, or leave on. I’ve tucked a few crumbles of cheese in between the tomatoes too.
Drizzle over the balsamic reduction and serve immediately.
This is one of the nicest salads to enjoy on a hot summer’s day. You can scale up or down, add pita chips if you would like some crunch, or slices of toasted baguette make a nice addition too.
Some very cold white wine would be another nice addition to this salad!