MARCELLA’S GARLIC SCENTED TOMATO SALAD (for four)
4 to 5 garlic cloves
choice quality red wine vinegar
2 pounds fresh ripe, firm, round or plum tomatoes
1 dozen fresh basil leaves
extra virgin olive oil
- Peel the garlic cloves and mash them rather hard with a knife handle. Put them in a small bowl or saucer together with 1 to 2 teaspoons salt and 2 tablespoons vinegar. Stir and let steep at least 20 minutes.
- Skin the tomatoes raw, using a swiveling-blade peeler, cut them into thin slices and spread the slices out in a deep serving platter.
- When ready to serve the salad wash the basil leaves in cold water, shake off their moisture, tear them by hand into 2 or 3 pieces each and sprinkle them over the tomatoes.
- Pour the garlic-steeped vinegar through a wire strainer, distributing it over the tomatoes. Add enough olive oil to coat the tomatoes well, toss, taste and correct, if necessary, for salt and vinegar, and serve at once.
from Marcella Hazan, Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking