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Egyptian Tomato Salad

by . Featured in NIGELLA BITES
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Introduction

I found this salad in a lovely little book - 'a memoir with recipes' - called Apricots on the Nile, by Colette Rossant. And although it sounds a lot of bother blanching and peeling the tomatoes, all in fact it involves is leaving the tomatoes for a few minutes in a bowlful of just-boiled water, after which their skins will come off without any trouble.

I found this salad in a lovely little book - 'a memoir with recipes' - called Apricots on the Nile, by Colette Rossant. And although it sounds a lot of bother blanching and peeling the tomatoes, all in fact it involves is leaving the tomatoes for a few minutes in a bowlful of just-boiled water, after which their skins will come off without any trouble.

Egyptian Tomato Salad
Photo by Francesca Yorke

Ingredients

Serves: 4

Metric Cups
  • 1 shallot (peeled)
  • 1 clove of garlic (peeled)
  • 3 - 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • approx. 750 grams vine tomatoes (approx. 5 medium sized tomatoes)
  • 1 good squeeze lemon juice
  • maldon salt
  • 1 handful chopped fresh chervil
  • 1 shallot (peeled)
  • 1 clove of garlic (peeled)
  • 3 - 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1½ pounds vine tomatoes (approx. 5 medium sized tomatoes)
  • 1 good squeeze lemon juice
  • sea salt flakes
  • 1 handful chopped fresh chervil

Method

  1. Chop the shallot and garlic as finely as is humanly possible - or just blitz to a pulp in a processor - and put in a small bowl with the oil, a pinch of salt and a grinding of pepper, and leave to steep while you blanche the tomatoes: that's to say, put them in a large bowl then pour boiling water over them so that they are hotly submerged. Leave for 5 minutes then tip into a colander and run under cold water.
  2. Using a sharp knife, peel off the skins (which is now easy), then cut these fuzzy spheres into slices, as thick or as thin as you like (I like them somewhere in the middle).
  3. Arrange the tomatoes in a dish and pour over the dressing, using your fingers to mix well. I find it easier to use one bowl for steeping purposes and another one, later, for serving. You can let the tomatoes sit like this for a good couple of hours. Yes, some liquid will collect, but the flavours will deepen wonderfully.
  4. When you're ready to eat, either leave the dressed tomatoes in the bowl or decant to a new one, but either way, using your hands, turn them to coat, squeeze over some lemon juice, and sprinkle with Maldon salt and a tablespoon or so of freshly chopped chervil. Use another herb if you like, but there is one inflexible rule governing this salad: it must be served at room temperature. Leave it in the fridge until the last minute and all will be lost.
  1. Chop the shallot and garlic as finely as is humanly possible - or just blitz to a pulp in a processor - and put in a small bowl with the oil, a pinch of salt and a grinding of pepper, and leave to steep while you blanche the tomatoes: that's to say, put them in a large bowl then pour boiling water over them so that they are hotly submerged. Leave for 5 minutes then tip into a colander and run under cold water.
  2. Using a sharp knife, peel off the skins (which is now easy), then cut these fuzzy spheres into slices, as thick or as thin as you like (I like them somewhere in the middle).
  3. Arrange the tomatoes in a dish and pour over the dressing, using your fingers to mix well. I find it easier to use one bowl for steeping purposes and another one, later, for serving. You can let the tomatoes sit like this for a good couple of hours. Yes, some liquid will collect, but the flavours will deepen wonderfully.
  4. When you're ready to eat, either leave the dressed tomatoes in the bowl or decant to a new one, but either way, using your hands, turn them to coat, squeeze over some lemon juice, and sprinkle with sea salt flakes and a tablespoon or so of freshly chopped chervil. Use another herb if you like, but there is one inflexible rule governing this salad: it must be served at room temperature. Leave it in the fridge until the last minute and all will be lost.

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What 1 Other has said

  • This sounds so tasty but yet so simple, I'm going to try it tonight but with a touch of grated horseradish to freshen the taste buds, fantastic!

    Posted by Derrick Holland on 15th January 2013
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