Tomato, strawberry and basil salad

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1½ tbsp white-wine vinegar

1 lemon – finely pare off 3 wide strips of peel; then juice, to get 1 tbsp

1 tsp caster sugar

Salt and black pepper

½ large red onion, peeled and finely sliced on a mandoline

350g medium vine tomatoes, roughly cut into 4cm pieces 

150g strawberries, hulled, cut in half lengthways, then into 5mm-thick slices

5g basil leaves, roughly torn

2½ tbsp olive oil

The only time involved here is in the marinating of the onion in lemon and vinegar to create the most brilliant dressing. After that, all you have to do is toss everything together at the last minute (this salad doesn’t take kindly to being left to sit around) and serve with grilled fish or a range of similarly summery snacks.

Prep 10 min
Pickle 1-2 hr
Cook 5 min
Serves 4 as a side


Whisk the vinegar, lemon juice, sugar and a quarter-teaspoon of salt in a small bowl, then add the onion and lemon peel, and leave to pickle for at least an hour, preferably two or longer, stirring a couple of times. 

Make the salad just before you’re ready to serve. Put the tomatoes in a sieve set over a large bowl and leave to drain for five minutes. Meanwhile, drain the pickled onions, reserving the pickling liquid to use in the dressing. Remove and finely chop the lemon peel.

Put the strawberries in a bowl with the drained tomatoes and add three-quarters of the onions, three-quarters of the basil, two tablespoons of pickling liquid, the oil and a quarter-teaspoon of salt. Stir gently, then transfer to a large, shallow bowl. Arrange the remaining pickled onions and basil on top, then scatter with the chopped lemon peel. Finish with a good grind of black pepper and serve at once.

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