After I wrote the previous post about inspiration I hit the kitchen directly to prepare the tomato salad as I wanted it to cool down a bit once prepared and it could do so while I took my shower. I looked into the larder and found 4 small tomatoes that were good, a small bag of olives and I collected other assorted ingredients including some fresh basil from the plant growing wildly in Normita’s office. Starting with these ingredients I assembled the salad.
I have been doing those kinds of salads for over 25 years and I love the basic combination of tomatoes, basil, and olives. I normally prefer something like a Kalamata olives, but the only thing I found was a small bag of Spanish olive filled with peppers. They are overly salty so I rinsed them a few times in water to tame the saltiness. Assembling a salad like that is very easy, as you just make layers of ingredients starting with the thinly sliced tomatoes. Thus went it the tomatoes followed by cubed apples, sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, shredded Oaxaca cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, the fresh basil, ground coarse salt, a fresh grind of black pepper, some balsamic vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil.
You the build the salad layer by layer until you have no more tomatoes. The process is simple. The salad that it yields is very tasty and I like to return it to the refrigerator for a while so the flavors gets well blended and that it gets very cold. I like fresh tomatoes to be very cold. I remember in another life when I was young and handsome, that often during the hottest part of summer when I was working on afternoon shifts from 2pm to 7pm. Before I left for work I would prepare a similar salad to that one with Kalamata olives and feta cheese to keep with the Greek olives, and I would put it in the refrigerator and eat it when I returned home after work. By that time it was ice cold like I like it and the flavors were blended to perfection.
Once the salad was ready I put it in the refrigerator, did the dishes, and I then hit the showers. We sat down and relaxed a bit in front of an electric fan as it is still like a furnace in here. We had this cold refreshing and tasty salad and all of the problems of this stressful weeks we just went through just disappeared.
When we sat down to eat Normita reminded me that I had forgotten to put some walnuts in the salad, so I added a handful of them in each of our plates over the salad. It made a nice addition to the salad.