Insalata di Pomodoro
There’s something about a simple, yet delicious meal that appeals to me. You don’t need fancy or exotic ingredients to enjoy dinner. You’d be surprised what you can do with a few high quality ingredients.
Stock up on good, cold-press olive oil. With fresh garlic and a few dried herbs on hand, you can whip a salad like this up in no time.
Last week, my Zia Concetta shared her Almond cookies, a 3-ingredient treat. She’s back this week with an Italian classic and shares her secret: dried oregano. She gently rubs it before tossing it over the tomatoes, for added flavour.
Oregano is an important herb in the Molise mountain village, where my family grew up. The whole town helps forage for it in the summer, and dries it to be used year-round. Molise oregano is more bold than its Greek and Mexican counterparts. I like to use it with some garlic in my marinade when grilling meats.
*Chef tip*: This tomato salad explodes with flavour if made a few hours before serving. Add all of the seasonings to tomatoes and mix, set aside up to 2 hours beforehand. Just before serving toss, taste again and adjust seasonings if necessary.
- 3 large tomatoes or a variety of different size and type of ripe tomatoes (about 2 cups/500 mL), coarsely chopped
- 1/2 sweet banana pepper, chopped coarsely
- Coarse salt, to taste
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp (5 mL) dried oregano (approx)
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) cold pressed olive oil
- 2 to 3 fresh basil leaves, torn (optional)
- 1 loaf of crusty bread, (optional)
- 2 to 3 bocconcini or 1 Burrata cheese, (optional)
- In a large serving bowl add the tomatoes and banana pepper. Sprinkle garlic and oregano, mix well. Add oil and basil. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and herbs if necessary.
- Can be served immediately, or, if time allows, cover loosely and set aside in refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.
- Just before serving, toss and adjust seasonings to taste. Serve with a loaf of crusty bread to soak up the tomato juices.