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Tomato & Red Onion Salad With A Punchy Dressing

Simple things can often give the greatest pleasure, much like your humble author. This salad and dressing is one of them.

Makes however much you want (salad) and loads (dressing).

For the salad:

  • As many tomatoes as you need for the number of people eating it – cherry tomatoes are best and should be halved, larger tomatoes should be divided as appropriate
  • 1 large red onion for every 6-10 people (depending on your personal tastes), halved lengthways and thinly sliced
  • You could add a rib of thinly sliced celery if the mood takes you

Gently mix them together in a suitably-sized bowl.

For the dressing:

  • 1 tsp rock salt
  • 1 tsp whole dried peppercorns
  • 4 tbs olive oil, as good as you can afford
  • 2 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp basil, minced

Crush the salt and peppercorns together in a pestle and mortar, spice mill etc. and put into a screw-top jar. Add the olive oil, vinegar, garlic and basil, screw on the lid and shake vigourously for a few seconds. Pour desired amount over the salad and gently mix to coat everything. Store any leftover dressing in the jar in the fridge and it’ll keep for quite a few days – I pretty much guarantee you’ll finish it off before it actually goes off.

If you’re feeling more adventurous, try adding a pinch or two of cayenne pepper powder and/or replacing some/all of the balsamic vinegar with a few teaspoons of lemon/lime juice and maybe a pinch of caster sugar. Use your tongue and get creative (as the actress said to the bishop).

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