Holiday or entertaining meals and side dishes do not have to be all drama and headache. It’s tomato growing season in the Middle East, southern hemisphere and in the tropics where these succulent red orbs thrive all year. If you are cocooned in a real winter somewhere, bookmark this recipe for when you get your hands on fresh seasonal cherry tomatoes.
The organic greenhouses at Greenheart Farms were bursting with a variety of sensationally delicious, ripe, red and even purple tomatoes. As I bit into each of the wide varieties they were growing, the distinct flavours and textures flooded by senses. It took me back to the heirloom tomatoes that my paternal grandfather and his brothers grew in the hilly interior Mocho Mountains in Clarendon, Jamaica. Prento, who had just started solids, and was only used to breast milk, was also covered in fresh tomato pulp and loving it. You can tell the difference with real organic tomatoes and these ones are the real deal.
The local Greenheart tomatoes are in their prime now and are so sweet, succulent and flavourful that they are best eaten in the raw. This salad celebrates tomato in all its glory and is a homage to my Caribbean roots.
This recipe was developed, styled and shot by Kari Heron for a commissioned assignment for Gourmet magazine.
550g assorted organic tomatoes, sliced and cubed
60g salted fish, rinsed and soaked in water to removed excess salt(cod, pollack, haddock, or other)
1 small red onion, finely diced
habanero to taste, thinly sliced and without seeds
salt to taste
a pinch of cracked black pepper
Slice cherry tomatoes in halves or quarters, depending on size and dice bigger beef varieties.
Break up salt fish into small pieces and cut lime into 4 wedges.
Combine the rest of ingredients , squeeze the lime to taste, using the unused wedges to garnish the dish and let it sit for 2 hours. We prefer 1-2 wedges, adding just an element of freshness as opposed to a very sour component to the dish.
Serve with slices of avocado sparkled with sea salt and some fresh crusty bread on the side to mop up the finger-licking tomato jus!
CHEF’S NOTE: The most important thing to note is that this recipe relies on really great tomatoes. That is the star of the dish. Use a variety of them for the most flavoursome results. This dish is absolutely brilliant with the Jamaican Roast Snapper en Papillote and The Roasted Garlic & Spring Onion Mashed Potatoes, which The Steward served for a finger licking dinner. Literally, my son was licking the mash and fish off my fingers and it was the first time I had ever seen him eat so much solid food in one sitting. This boy is definitely mine.