Georgia brought along tomatoes from her garden for yesterday's lunch and I asked her to write about them. They cut such a dash of colour on our table and were full of flavour - a balanced harmony of sweet, sour and savoury. Delicious! See below:-
"The thing about tomatoes is they are beautifully tasty all on their own and you do not need to do very much to them at all. I’ve grown all these tomatoes. If you buy them from a farm shop or the supermarket the best thing you can do is to leave them in a bowl on the counter. You will find that they will continue to ripen and gain in taste. I pick mine as they ripen and do the same thing.
The most beautiful way to prepare tomatoes is also the simplest. Lay your tomatoes so that the stalk end is pointing to left or right depending on whether you are left or right handed, and with a very sharp serrated knife, slice the tomato starting at the stalk end. You want to slice them this way so that on the plate they display the beautiful patterns and colours of their insides.
And on to slicing. You want the first slice just to take the end off that you won’t use. I usually then slice the rest of the tomato about a half centimetre thick to the end, which I discard as well. Place the sliced tomatoes on a plate. The most important thing is the next step. Salt.
Salt brings out the flavour, so salt them generously with sea salt. You probably want to put more on than you think.
After salting, leave the tomatoes for approximately 20 minutes to infuse. Be careful not to leave too long or they will be too watery - in which case tip off the water. You can add a few grindings of pepper now if you like. Pepper adds heat to the dish. Or you can wait. It’s the salt that is important.
With this dish I also added a sliced red onion - sliced the same way as the tomato but with much thinner rings - and some basil leaves crushed, not chopped. Do not chop basil.
Add a drizzle of your best olive oil over the top when you are about to serve. You do not need anything else.