I've got nothing against cooked tomatoes. Not cooked whole tomatoes, you understand. But if they're in a sauce then I'm okay with that. And, one of my favourite recipes from this blog so far has been Thomasina Miers' chilli jam - which contains mountains of tomatoes. I keep a huge jar in the fridge to dollop into sandwiches or eat alongside salads.
|Not quite as nicely styled as the book version but just as tasty|
What a surprise. These were firm and tasty and had that gorgoeous fresh-grown tomato smell. I've always loved that smell and it reminds me of when my mum used to grow tomatoes when I was a child. Dressed in a simple vinaigrette and sprinkled liberally with salt, they were an absolute revelation. Nothing like those squidgy, slimy, dreary salad tomatoes peddled by the supermarkets.
Sadly for my tomato-eating career, we split up soon afterwards on the advice of his mother. She had the sense to see I could do better for myself (I couldn't have done worse!). Don't get me wrong - she liked me. She even told me I was dating the wrong son and that I'd be a fantastic daughter-in-law (I was a late starter on the dating scene). But the weird, psychotic tendencies of son number two quickly sent me running for the hills.
The past fifteen years have been plagued by further encounters with both people firmly at the wrong end of the weirdo scale and nasty tomatoes too. I'm sure I've eaten in places that could've changed my tomato fearing mind, but it's just something I would never consider ordering. When you go out, you go out to eat for pleasure, not to torture yourself. Lycopersicoaphobia has remained firmly rooted in my psyche.
Until I got my copy of Wahaca: Mexican Food at Home by Thomasina Miers. If you're a regular reader, you'll know I adore Thomasina's books. And I'm now eager to holiday in Mexico one day (although I'll be going by myself as Mr Fussy wouldn't eat the food and would worry that he'd get kidnapped by a Mexican drug cartel). Flicking through the book, the one recipe that really captured my imagination was the aforementioned Three Tomato Salad. Yes. Seriously. I've been obsessing about this for a couple of weeks now to the point where I'm wondering exactly why I'm craving something I can't stand.
For the record, I would like to categorically state that I am not pregnant. My mother will obviously be very disappointed by that. My boss will most likely be relieved. As will the husband because he's starting to make noises about me working late too often. I am actually working to keep a roof over our heads!
I was spoilt for choice with stripy Heirloom tomatoes and tiny orange plum tomatoes, regular cherry tomatoes on the vine and pretty orange and yellow tomatoes. I really wanted someone to share this joyous occasion with but the husband is crashed out on the bed after another session of the Insanity workout and I'm too impatient to save it until the next time I'm at my mothers so it seemed the perfect antidote to yet another wet and dreary day.
The flavours are amazing. Fresh tomatoes with feta and pineapple, mixed with a red-wine vinegar dressing. The salt of the feta cuts beautifully through the sweet tomatoes and is balanced well with the acid from the pineapple and the dressing. In fact this now ranks up there with my all time favourite recipes from this year. And I have enough tomatoes left to make it again for tomorrow's lunch. I was planning on using them to make Gazpacho, but it seems a criminal waste of beautiful tomatoes.
I'm now firmly converted!