Fresh tomatoes marinated with garlic

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Particularly delicious on a hot summer's day, there really could be nothing simpler. The secrets to success are using only the choicest ingredients and allowing time for the flavors to blend. The salt draws out moisture from the tomatoes, creating their own tempting dressing.

1 Put the tomatoes in a shallow glass or ceramic dish.

2 Using a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic with a little sea salt to form a paste. Add to the tomatoes, along with the oil and vinegar. Season generously with a good sprinkling of salt and pepper. Gently mix well so that all the ingredients are evenly dispersed. Let stand in a cool part of the kitchen for 2 hours.

3 Serve at room temperature—this is important—as an accompaniment to grilled meat or fish, or as a side salad for lunch, topped with the shredded basil (if using). Make sure there is plenty of fresh, crusty bread on the table to soak up the delicious juices.

Variation If you like, use any other fresh herb to top the marinated salad—try rosemary, oregano, thyme, flat-leaf parsley, or tarragon.

Serves 4

Prep time: 10 minutes Marinating time: 2 hours

4 large beefsteak tomatoes, about 21/2lb (1.1kg), sliced 1 or 2 garlic cloves 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1-2 tbsp good-quality sherry vinegar handful of fresh basil leaves, shredded (optional) sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Works well with

Beefsteak (pp52-63) Plum (pp64-73) Standard globe (pp22-35)

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