Summer is salad season, and although the weather has been a little wetter and cooler the past couple of days than one usually associates with the summer months, we've been eating plenty of salads. There's lots of greenery in the garden at present, and the cherry tomatoes are just coming ripe in the glasshouse. I've also got LOADS of basil in the glasshouse, from which i am just starting to pick the flower heads, in order to prevent the plants from going to seed too soon.
We are going to have cherry tomatoes galore; i adore picking and eating them straight from the vine, and i also love using them in salads - they always seem sweeter than the large tomatoes, and look prettier as well.
The following salad is one i make frequently when i have cherry tomatoes and basil in abundance, so it has just come onto the menu in our house.
This is one of those salads that i always used to scoff at.... I used to be a firm believer that the more ingredients you put in a salad the better (in fact i'll give you a recipe for one of those types of salads soon!), and that a bowl with only 3 ingredients plus a dressing was not worthy of the title 'Salad'. This, however, is not only very quick and easy to make, it tastes wonderful - more than the sum of its parts. I don't have the recipe written down anywhere - with a total of 4 ingredients it is not hard to remember, but i'm sure i can't claim to have created it myself - i'm sure i saw it (or something very similar) in a magazine or cookbook somewhere, but i couldn't tell you where.
Serve it alongside a large bowl of green salad, fish and rice for a simple but delicious dinner, or as one of a variety of salads at a barbecue as part of a perfect summer meal.
CHERRY TOMATO and BASIL SALAD
2 cups cherry tomatoes
Generous handful of picked basil leaves
Small wedge of red onion
1 to 1.5 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Halve the cherry tomatoes. Wash and roughly chop the basil leaves. Finely slice the red onion.
Place the prepared vegetables in a bowl and toss to combine. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar over and refrigerate until required or serve immediately.