This is my go-to salad right now. Eat it on its own with crusty bread to mop up those gorgeous juices, or as part of a meze-style spread. The quality of the tomatoes you use will make all the difference, so use the ripest and sweetest ones you can find. The addition of a few chunks of ripe avocado is a welcome variation.
1 large banana shallot, peeled and sliced into 1mm-thick pinwheels
1½ tbsp sumac
2 tsp white-wine vinegar
Salt and black pepper
700g tomatoes – ideally a mixture of large tiger, green and red plum, and red and yellow cherry
2 tbsp olive oil
15g basil leaves, plus a few extra small leaves to garnish
25g pine nuts, toasted
- Put the shallot in a small bowl with the sumac, vinegar and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt. Mix together with your hands, so the sumac gets well massaged into the shallots, then leave for 30 minutes, to soften.
- Cut the large tomatoes in half lengthways and then into 1-1.5cm wedges and put them in a large bowl. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half lengthways and add to the bowl. Pour in the oil, add the basil, a third of a teaspoon of salt and a generous grind of pepper, and toss gently with your hands to combine.
- Arrange the tomatoes on a large platter and spread the shallots over the top. Lift some of the tomatoes and basil so they are visible above the shallots, sprinkle over the pine nuts and baby basil leaves, and serve.