BLACKENED TOMATO SALAD
I love cooking on coals, and BBQs aren’t just for meat. This tomato salad brings together the best of British tomatoes with firey smokey flavour and crusty croutons.
If you don’t have a barbecue to hand, don’t worry, you can roast the tomatoes in the oven and you’ll get a similar result.
6 medium tomatoes
4-5 medium vines of cherry tomatoes
1 crusty bread rolls
2 red onions
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of balsamic
100g good quality feta cheese
10-12 fresh basil leaves
Firstly, start by lighting the barbecue (coals are great but wood is an equally good option). Make sure you leave the coals for an hour or so until they are white hot, then put the griddle on and leave the coals for a further 10 minutes so they cool down a little.
Whilst you are waiting for the fire to get nice and hot, make the croutons by breaking up the bread roughly, popping on a baking tray and drizzling with a little rapeseed oil and salt and pepper. Cook the croutons in a 200 degree oven for 10 minutes until they go nice and crunchy.
Once the hot coals are ready, peel the onions, slice them in half and place them on the barbecue flat side down. They will blacken fairly quickly but don’t worry about that, they will need about 10 minutes on each side to soften right through.
Whilst the onions are cooking, slice the larger tomatoes in half, season with plenty of salt and pepper, and place skin side up on the barbecue. They will start to blacken after a couple of minutes so make sure you keep an eye on them and turn over to colour the other side.
Once they have had 2-3 minutes on each side, take them off and put them onto a serving dish. Next up, it’s time for the cherry vines. Place them on the griddle racks on their vines, but keeping about 8-10 of the little tomatoes raw to give the salad from texture.
Once the cherry toms have had 4-5 minutes their skins will be nice and cracked. Take them off and put them on the serving dish, and drizzle over the olive oil and balsamic. Add the cooked onions and crumble over the feta & croutons, then serve up with fresh basil leaves.