Home Grown Tomato Heaven

The Ultimate Tomato Salad


This salad is why I grow tomatoes.It is in the Italian tradition of first-rate ingredients, minimally processed.As the song goes, there are just two things that money can’t buy: true love and homegrown tomatoes.Do it in July and August when tomatoes are at their sweetest.If this could be done properly with store tomatoes, I wouldn’t bother to grow them.


Salate de Pomodoro (a course or a luncheon for two)


2 or 3 perfectly ripe homegrown tomatoes (not plum tomatoes).

Chopped fresh herbs: mint, oregano, basil or dried oregano.

Wine vinegar, tarragon vinegar preferred.

Good, fruity, olive oil.

Kosher or coarse sea salt.

A pepper mill loaded with Sarawak or Tellicherry peppercorns.

½ medium cucumber, peeled, seeded (optional). 

Warm, crusty pane or baguette.

Slice the tomatoes thickly, pitch the end pieces, and cut into a large dice.Place in a bowl.If using cucumber, cut into a large dice and add to the bowl.Add the herbs, 2 tbsp of vinegar, and a pinch of salt.Toss.Add a ¼ cup of olive oil and toss again.Add a good grinding of pepper. 

Transfer to a glass or crystal bowl to show off the beauty of this mixture.Serve in small bowls making sure everyone gets a share of the juices.The warm bread is used to sop up the juices. 

Pour a southern Italian wine, such as a primitivo.