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Simple Seasonal Tomato Salad

Tomato season is upon us here in Ireland and now is the time to take advantage of the juicy, fresh tomatoes on offer from your local growers or your own back garden if you are green-fingered. This week we’re featuring a tomato salad recipe (see below) that we love because it uses a generous amount of tomatoes when we have a glut but is also really easy, tasty and healthy. Tomatoes are of course very versatile and can be used in a multitude of ways but when you are very busy, simple is good!

Tomatoes are a good source of several vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, potassium, vitamin K and folate. They are also the major dietary source of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to many health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and cancer.

Tomatoes are native to South America and are a member of the nightshade family which also includes potatoes, aubergines and peppers. That makes the spud and the tomato first cousins! The growers amongst you will perhaps have noticed that tomatoes and potatoes have quite similar leaves and can suffer from some of the same plant problems such as blight. We sow our tomatoes in late February or early March on heat and they require a lot of minding (think frosty nights!) and need to be potted on after about four or five weeks before they are ready for planting at the end of April or early May. With quite a bit more minding and maintenance, we can normally harvest from July to October.

Over the past few weeks we’ve started enjoying our own Drumanilra tomatoes and they are now going into our box scheme orders and the Honestly Kitchen farm shops and burgers!

tomatoes on the vineSeasonal Tomato Salad Recipe

Ingredients

  • 700g cherry tomatoes (regular big tomatoes or beefsteak tomatoes will also work)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced (tip: mince the garlic well to avoid strong lumps of garlic)
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh basil, or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method:

  1. Prepare the cherry tomatoes by slicing in half or quarters (no need to seed them). If using bigger tomatoes, remove the seeds and chop the tomatoes into chunks.
  2. Place the chopped tomatoes in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy as a side dish to lunch or dinner. Store in an airtight container and enjoy within 2 to 3 days.  Many people add some red onion or shallots to the salad. Another variation would be to replace half of the tomatoes with another summery seasonal favourite, cucumber.  Enjoy!

The Drumanilra Market Garden Team

Jess

Author Jess

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