One of my favorite memories at Ballymaloe Cookery School was walking into the green house with the feeling of just stepping into a rain forest of tomato vines from floor to ceiling. The vibrant colors of the tomatoes ranging from green to deep red could not even be captured by a camera they were so naturally beautiful.
Let me tell you, about everyday for the first month and half of my program I made a dish incorporating these deliciously sweet tomatoes. It was something I definitely took for granted. A tomato dish is worlds different in flavor when you have access to tomatoes that are ripe and in season. For anyone who “doesn’t like tomatoes,” I say you haven’t enjoyed a tomato fresh straight from the soil!
Just because they’re are available year-round doesn’t mean they’re going to be good year-round. Any tomato that looks dull or pale is going to be lackluster, select tomatoes that are deeply colored and firm with a little give. Sniff tomatoes are better if you can find them. If they’re missing that sweet smell, leave them behind.
Pomegranate & Tomato Summer Salad
Serves: 6 people
Prep Time: 15 minutes
1/2 cup of red cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 cup of yellow cherry tomatoes, cut in half
5 medium vine tomatoes, diced
1 sweet pepper, cut into 1cm dices ( I prefer yellow for an extra pop of color.)
1 small red onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
½ tsp ground allspice
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1½ tbsp pomegranate molasses
1/4 cup olive oil, plus a little extra to drizzle a
2 pomegranates, seeds removed
1 tbsp oregano leaves, to garnish
Salt and black pepper
In a large bowl, mix together the tomatoes, red pepper and onion and set aside.
In a small bowl whisk the garlic, allspice, vinegar, pomegranate molasses, olive oil, and 1/3rd teaspoon of salt, until well combined. Pour this over the tomatoes and gently mix.
Arrange the tomatoes and the juices on a large flat plate. Sprinkle over the pomegranate seeds and oregano and finish with a drizzle of olive oil.