A wise woman once told me, ‘what grows together goes together,’ and this salad makes the most of that idea. Tomatoes and nectarines are in abundance at around the same time, when they’re both ripe this makes for a ripper salad. You can add buffalo mozzarella to this if you like, or sometimes I add prosciutto too. I’ve used Cretan barley rusks in this version, one of my favourite foods in the whole world. But if you can’t find any you can use any type of crouton/toasted bread – anything to help soak up all the delicious juices.
I make a garlic oil for this salad. I just slice up my clove of garlic and leave it to infuse overnight. When I’m making my dressing for this salad I leave in the raw garlic, but I understand the flavour is too strong for most. My great-grandmother used to eat rusks with raw garlic and nothing else, and she lived to be 106 – just saying.
Ingredients (serves 4)
1 salad onion sliced
1/2 cup mixed herbs
1 cup barley rusks or other croutons
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove sliced
Start by slicing your garlic and leaving it overnight in the olive oil. You can strain out your garlic if you wish or leave it in the salad if you dare. Slice your tomatoes and nectarines into wedges, and finely slice your salad onion, put them all into a mixing bowl.
Crush your rusks or croutons and place them on the bottom of the plate or bowl you’ll be serving your salad out of. Add your mixed herbs in with your tomatoes and nectarines, I’m using mint and basil but you can use what’s on hand, then dress with your liquids.
Layer your salad on top of your rusks, leaving the salad for a few minutes before serving to give the rusks a chance to absorb some of the liquid.