Heritage tomato and mozzarella salad
Prep time less than 30 mins
Cook time less than 30 mins
From Kew on a Plate
This salad is one of the simplest and its success relies on using the ripest tomatoes. I have chosen four of the tastiest varieties – they are perfect for salad, each of them sun-ripened, juicy and fleshy. Gastronomy can be simple... when you have wonderful produce!
For the tomatoes, using a small paring knife, cut the hard core out of each tomato, then cut each into quarters. Transfer to a large bowl. Season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Stir so the seasoning lightly cures the tomatoes, which will then produce a beautiful juice. Mix in the onion, herbs, garlic, vinegar and oil. Stir and leave to marinate for a minimum of 10 minutes for the flavours to infuse.
For the salad, at the last moment, mix the leaves in a large bowl. Season with a pinch each of salt and pepper, then toss the leaves with the vinegar and olive oil.
Arrange the leaves on a large platter. With a large spoon, lift the tomato mixture onto the salad. Cut the mozzarella in half and scatter around the salad. Sprinkle over the dried olives and finish with a drizzle of your best extra virgin olive oil.
For the tomatoes
- 1.2kg/2lb 7oz heritage tomatoes (Marmande, Coeur de Boeuf, Darby Striped Yellow/Green and Black Russian)
- 1 Rose de Roscoff onion, cut into 3mm slices
- 20 basil leaves, roughly chopped
- 3 tbsp finely chopped chives
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the salad
- 1 head Freckles lettuce, leaves picked
- 1 head Seurat lettuce, leaves picked
- 1 head Lollo Rosso lettuce, leaves picked
- 1 head Reine des Glaces lettuce, leaves picked
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus a little extra to finish
- 3 x 120g/4¼oz buffalo mozzarella
- 50g/1¾oz Kalamata olives, pitted, dried in the oven for 1 hour at 100C/90C Fan/Gas ¼, finely chopped
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