Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Proper tomato salad

When I told my brother that I was going to cook my way through Jamie's new book, his reaction was, perhaps predictably, 'are you really going to cook everything?' 'what about the food you don't like?' This sort of project is probably best not undertaken by fussy eaters; nonetheless, there are always going to be types of food that you like better than others and food that you don't much like at all, not to mention the food that almost makes you retch. I am not keen on bananas, flavoured yoghurts (I love natural and Greek yoghurt, but it has to be plain) or pineapple on pizza, or some desserts (meringues, for instance), but I eat all of those if necessary. The only food that makes me retch and thus the only food that I really, really don't like is raw tomato. I can eat tomatoes cooked, in fact I love cooked tomatoes; I love tomato-based sauces, but I detest raw tomatoes to the point that eating them makes me retch. I can eat them, if accompanied by a huge hunk of bread and if they are ripe (those watery orange British tomatoes are the worst; I can manage cherry tomatoes, just about). Jamie's book has a few recipes which contain raw tomatoes: a Greek feta salad, which I will make (and I will just not eat the tomatoes...) , a red mullet dish with raw tomatoes which I might manage to eat and finally a 'proper tomato salad', which I couldn't face.

I went out last night for cocktails and pizza (had a Misty Cooler, with melon and white wine and soda, and then the usual boring but lovely Cosmopolitan) and Simon was home alone, cranking up the stereo as he does when I'm not there to protest, watching yet another football match (is it me or does having Sky sports mean that there is a match every night?) and - yes - making Jamie's tomato salad to have with his (bought-in) pizza! By rights this post should have been written by the self-designated sous-chef who became chef for the evening yesterday. Although I hate tomatoes, I think he did a great job.


The salad is simple: the tomatoes are cut irregularly and drizzled with salt to draw out their watery juices, then served with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, chopped chilli and garlic and then basil leaves. It looks delicious. I want to like raw tomatoes; I really do, but I just can't. Simon, however, really enjoyed his unusual opportunity to feast on tomatoes like this and to promote himself from sous-chef to chef. He also, in my absence, turned the mattress, changed the sheets and made a loaf of bread (albeit in the bread machine). What a domestic god...

43 comments:

TheGrem said...

This looks lovely. My kind of salad. Raw tomato is luvverly, but lovely bashed up odd shape toms from a French market beat insipid brit ones hands down in my book.

Simon said...

The tomatoes were Spanish (Tesco Finest - natch), but shame I couldn't get hold of any green ones. The sea salt definitely made a difference: Salt Police would've had a field day, but stuff 'em.

Sous Chef

Lisa said...

Bravo, Simon! It looks fantastic. K, that was a good plan.

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