|A Muddle of Assorted Heirloom Tomatoes|
Wednesday 13th July 2011 ~ Second Wednesday in July, Pretty Maid’s Charity in Holsworthy, Devon, England
Mercredi 13 Juillet 2011 ~ Sts. Henri/Joel
|Méli-Mélo – A Muddle and Medley of Heirloom Tomatoes|
Today is a happy day for me, we have just returned from Bordeaux where we collected my daughter, Hannah, who is here for 10 days holiday! Her flight was on time, but the traffic coming out of Bordeaux was awful, traffic jams for miles…….still, we are home now and we have just finished eating a wonderful light lunch of mixed Heirloom tomatoes, some home-grown and some given to us by our neighbour who has an allotment close by. We ate this at the bottom of the garden in the sunshine and with acres of crusty fresh bread….sheer bliss! This is an old recipe of mine, and I LOVE to prepare this when tomatoes are in season; it is based on a Jamie Oliver recipe of a few years ago, although I have tampered with it a bit, as usual!
|A Muddle and Medley of Heirloom Tomatoes|
This recipe relies heavily on good, fresh and seasonal tomatoes, and the more varieties the better to create that “Just painted” look on the plate! I am lucky to have some kind and generous gardening neighbours (with allotments) near to me, so when my tomatoes have finished, I always have an endless supply of amazing varieties to hand for all my summer cooking.
|Preparing the tomatoes to serve.|
Although this is a simple recipes, it never fails to get the “oohs and aahs” when I serve it, especially as a starter for a summer dinner party or for a rustic but light lunch.
|Preparing the tomatoes to serve.|
So, here is it, with a loud fanfare and appropriate cheers of delight, my recipe for a Muddle of Heirloom Tomatoes, which I would like to share with you all!
|A selection of Heirloom Tomatoes|
Recipe ~ Méli-Mélo – A Muddle and Medley of Heirloom Tomatoes
Méli-Mélo is a wonderful French word which simply translated means a mixture, medley, assortment. selection or to use the old English word, a Muddle! This is a simple and yet stunning tomato salad, which relies heavily on assorted sun-ripened tomatoes, sea salt, herbs and good olive oil. It makes a “stand-alone” meal or a wonderful accompaniment. The tomatoes I used in the salad in my photographs were good old fashioned heirloom tomatoes called: Pineapple (yellow and mottled red inside – sweet and fruity flavoured), Black Krim (black-ish skin and dark purple inside – tangy taste), Marmande (Traditional French toms with a beefy taste and texture), Brandywine (dark Bordeaux colour with superb flavour), Moneymaker (traditional English toms – a gardener’s favourite – full of flavour) and Auriga (medium orange tom with a sharp and tangy flavour). Try to use a selection of different shapes, colours and flavours when you make this salad. Do NOT omit the salting process – it is essential to this recipe as it brings out the flavours to their fullest……trust me; this salad is NOT salty as the salt drains away with the excess tomato juices! Serve this with grilled artisan breads such as boule, couronne, ciabatta, cottage loaf, home-made breads or crusty rolls. Grilled cheese or fresh goat’s cheese is also a wonderful addition to this salad. Alternatively, serve it alongside grilled or barbecued meats or with pasties, pies or quiches – it really is simply delicious just by itself however.
- 1 kg assorted fresh tomatoes ( 2lbs 4ozs, different colours, shapes and varieties of heirloom tomatoes)
- sea salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- 2 -4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced finely
- extra virgin olive oil
- red wine vinegar
- flowering oregano or fresh oregano or dried oregano
- purple basil
- Cut, dice and slice your assorted tomatoes – making sure that there are plenty of different shapes, sizes and colours of tomatoes available. I like to leave small cherry tomatoes whole, and then slice large tomatoes, whilst dicing and cubing medium and round tomatoes – try to make the salad look “textured”!
- Place the sliced and diced tomatoes into a large colander. Sprinkle over some sea salt – not too much, about 1/4 teaspoon, then shake the tomatoes gently and sprinkle over some more sea salt. Do this one more time and allow them to sit for 15 to 30 minutes in a sink or over a bowl.
- Transfer the tomatoes to a large attractive serving bowl or platter, and sprinkle over your choice of chopped fresh or dried herbs, see above in the ingredients list.
- Make the dressing using one part vinegar to three parts olive oil, then add the minced garlic and some freshly ground black pepper – taste and adjust the seasoning; salt should not be needed as the tomatoes will have some residual salt left – but add salt to the dressing if you feel it is needed.
- Drizzle the dressing over the tomatoes and chopped herbs and then decorate the salad with whole herb leaves and flowers, serve immediately.
- If you are transporting this salad to a picnic, decant the dressing into a bottle and only dress the salad just before serving and eating it.
- Serve with assorted crusty and artisan breads and rolls – for ease of “juice mopping”!
|Assorted Heirloom Tomatoes|