It used to be that there were no really good tomatoes until the middle of summer, the kind that ripened on the plant in dry heat under the hot sun. They were firm, really red, sweet but with still a bit of acidity, juicy but not watery and not overwhelmed by seeds. Heaven if you put the right dressing on them. Yesterday, I made a salad with Heirloom tomatoes, closed my eyes and had this flash back to my grandmother’s house in the French Alps. She grew all her own vegetables on a 2 acre lot and also kept a couple dozen chicken. When my grand-father had sold their farm, he had written in the contract that the new farmer would pay him cash the day of the transaction and also in kind with the yields of the farm until the day he died. So for the remaining of their life, my grand-parents received a liter of milk and wine (pretty rough plunk actually, but made great vinegar and good enough for the daily toast with the mailman) per day, bushels of corn, potatoes, and what not. So with all this, they were pretty well set, but I digress. I should go back to the best tomato salad.
The dressing is made of 1 tbsp of really good red wine vinegar and 1 tbsp balsamic, 5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, one shallot chopped very fine, salt and pepper. Mix together, add the tomatoes cut in thick slices and sprinkle with chopped basil or curly parsley. Stir gently just before eating. Fresh green beans can be added. Baguette should be close by to sponge leftover dressing.
Never put the tomatoes in the fridge as they would loose their taste