Sunday, 28 October 2012

Tomato salad

The photograph is authentic but doesn't reflect the point of the dish. A mustardy vinaigrette is all very well but good tomatoes demand nothing more than good olive oil, salt and a few shavings of shallot. The mustard and vinegar only becomes essential if the tomatoes are disappointing: I recommend Dutch if you truly want to experience the fourth state of water.

It is those misshapen tomatoes, almost pumpkin-like, with a taste that burns the back of the throat that are required here. I found some once, in Montagnac market. The friend who had taken me insisted on whisking me past all the stalls until we reached the man at the end who had what appeared to be the contents of his (small) garden on the plastic table. About eight years ago and never forgotten. Lunch of those tomatoes, olive oil and bread to mop the juices.

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