When summer tomatoes are finally in season, I like to eat them as often as possible. Right now every single one of my tomato plants is still at the beginning of the fruit producing stage though I am eagerly awaiting my first crop of the cherry tomatoes, but my local farmers' market had gorgeous heirloom tomatoes for sale this week, the grocery had some lovely Campari tomatoes and I had some tiny yellow cherry tomatoes already in house, so I made the salad above.
I actually made this summer tomato salad twice -- as illustrated above as a BBQ side dish, and once as dinner for myself. The recipe below is for the dinner for one person version. Feel free to adapt it to your taste and needs. Use whatever combination of tomato shape and color (black and rainbow tomatoes look especially lovely in this salad) appeals to you, making sure to cut each variety of tomato differently for textural purposes.
1/2 ripe Heirloom tomato, very thinly sliced
2 Campari tomatoes, quartered
5 small yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
1 hard-boiled egg, quartered
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1 slice of bread, cut into small cubes
2 tsps of olive oil
Salt and black pepper
To finish the dish: finishing salt (such as Fleur de Sel or Maldon salt), chopped basil, Balsamic vinegar and your best olive oil
Add the olive oil and crushed garlic clove to a pan. Set aside for the oil to infuse while you prepare the salad.
Line your plate with the thinly sliced tomato. Scatter the other tomatoes and the egg quarters over the top. Drizzle with some Balsamic vinegar, a generous scattering of black pepper and some finishing salt and set aside.
Turn the heat on under the pan with the garlic and oil. As soon as the oil is hot, add the cubed bread to the pan. Cook over medium heat for three to four minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to redistribute the bread so that it browns on all sides. Salt very lightly. As soon as the bread is crispy and golden brown remove from the heat. Discard the garlic clove and tip the croutons over the top of your salad.
Add as little or as much chopped basil as you would like and a generous drizzle of good olive oil over the top of the salad before digging in.