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Kiera's Favourite Summer Salad Recipe, featuring Her Majesty, the Tomato

Updated: Oct 8, 2023

Maybe it's because I recently turned 30, but I've suddenly noticed a heightened interest in the status of homegrown vegetables. Every year, my dad's greenhouse has sat at the bottom of the garden, collecting sunbeams and waiting patiently until late August to burst forth with its summer harvest, and every year I've strolled past with little more than a sidewards glance at its plush red offerings. Everyone grows tomatoes. The pumpkin patch, however, with its endless offering of spotted gourds and alien forms like washed up sea creatures, always provided more intrigue. Until recently, that is.

A man's hands holding a large heap of homegrown tomatoes in different colours, shot on a film camera
Thank God Michael's got such big hands, shot on Canon AE-1

In early September after visiting home for a friend's wedding, we stepped inside the glass doors with a large cardboard box ready for pickings. Naively, I imagined we'd fill half a box, at most. 20 minutes later, the harvest had overflowed into a carrier bag: heirloom green tomatoes, Cherokee Purples, tender red Better Boys, pleated Santorinis and bright orange 'Sungold' cherries. I may sound like I've known those names all along, but actually I googled 'tomatoes you can grow in Ireland' and identified them with my naked eye. Just as clever.


We took them back to Dublin on the bus, with only a few fatalities, and got to work.


Basil and Nectarine Summer Salad

Imagine the most fragrant summer starter you can, and then double the flavour: et voila, you have our nectarine and basil tomato summer salad recipe. Afterwards, we agreed that we didn't necessarily need the sweetness of the nectarine to balance the potentially tart tomato - the only tart in the kitchen that day was Michael - but the nectarine is offset deliciously by the herbal basil which makes for a superbly summery treat. Just look at it! Ooh la la.


A hand holds a decorative bowl filled with tomato and nectarine salad over a green lawn, shot on a film camera
My favourite summer salad, shot on Canon AE-1


SERVES 4 - 6

You need:

  • 500G mixed homegrown tomatoes (a mixture of different kinds, if possible, perfectly ripened)

  • 2 x ripe nectarines cut into thin wedges

  • 1 x pack fresh basil

  • Scattering of salt flakes

  • Feta or vegan feta, to crumble

For the dressing :

  • 4 x shallots, thinly sliced

  • A tablespoon of sherry vinegar

  • Olive oil

  • 3 x limes

  • Sprinkle of salt & pepper

What you do:

  • Chop the tomato into thick wedges and add to a large salad bowl with the wedges of nectarine

  • Loosely shred a handful of fresh basil leaves into the bowl

  • Scatter some salt flakes, mix and leave aside

  • In a frying pan, flash fry your chopped shallots until brown and crisped. Carefully remove, retaining the oil, and add to the salad bowl

  • Pour the oil into a jug or ramekin, and add the juice of your limes

  • Add 1 - 2 tablespoons of sherry vinegar

  • Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper, mix well and taste

  • Pour over your salad, mix, and eat immediately. If you're so inclined, crumble some feta or vegan feta on top to serve, or use fresh sourdough to dip-and-mop as needed.

Enjoy!



THIS WEEK'S WISHLIST, INSPIRED BY HER MAJESTY, THE TOMATO


Take your tomato game up a notch with our sweet feast-inspired treats of the week.


'Gardener' Candle by Boy Smells, with notes of tomato vine with orange peel, oakmoss, cedar, and, intriguingly, dirt

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'Tomato' Cookbook by Claire Johnson




Skirted SEVEN Chair in 'Brique' by Trove by Studio Duggan





Ceramic Salad Bowl by Dan Jamieson



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