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Friday, 25 May 2007

Tickle me tomato

I was at the market craving salad yesterday when I saw four different colours of tomato lying next to each other. Sunny, modest, prolific, confused fruit that they are, they looked beautiful. I happened to be at the specialist wild mushroom stall at the time, so this vague idea for a salad was hatched.

(A note on the mushrooms: they lend texture as well as taste, so a mix is good. I got oyster, shitaake, some orangey coloured ones and some bluish ones that look like they should do more than just flavour a salad.)

What you need for a self-juicing quattro colore tomato funghi salad (for 2)

6-7 chopped, small, perky, juicy tomatoes; green, orange, yellow and red (the more colours the merrier)
A breakfast sized bowl of fresh, mixed wild mushrooms (sliced)
Fresh basil leaves, chopped (about 6 big ones)
Fresh mint, chopped (same quantity as basil)
A splash of balsamic vinegar
Big squeeze of lemon juice
1 clove garlic
Olive oil
Fresh butter

Melt a thin slice of butter in a generous glug of olive oil and throw in your sliced shrooms. Toss them to coat and saute them on med-hi heat.

While the mushies are cooking, throw your chopped tomatoes into a bowl. Their juices form the base for your dressing, so keep as much as you can. Toss through the mint, basil, dash of balsamic, lemon juice, olive oil and salt'n'pepa.

When your mushrooms are golden, leave them to cool for just a minute before tossing them in with the tomato salad and quickly stirring through. You don't want them hot enough to heat the fruit, but their warmth will enhance the sweet, juicy basily goodness of your salad.

If you have a crust of fresh bread to mop up your empty bowl with, all the better.

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