- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I have very few ironclad cooking rules, but here’s one I think few people would argue with: Vine-ripened tomatoes in season should be tampered with as little as possible.

Here is a minimalist recipe for enhancing the tomatoes’ natural brilliance. It calls for dressing them with a small amount of warmed, scallion-infused olive oil, then finishing the dish with a little salt and pepper.

Rather than overshadowing the flavor of the tomatoes, this treatment augments it beautifully.

Simplest tomato salad

The salad tastes best if eaten shortly after it is assembled. I like it at room temperature.

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 scallions, minced

2 pounds ripe, firm tomatoes

½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)

Freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the scallions and saute for about 5 to 8 minutes, or until the scallions are completely wilted. Set aside to cool for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the tomatoes in half; squeeze out and discard the seeds. Cut the tomatoes into bite-sized chunks, and place them in a medium-sized glass or ceramic bowl.

Pour the scallions and oil over the tomatoes, and sprinkle on a little salt and a fair amount of black pepper. Stir gently and serve right away at room temperature, or cover tightly and chill.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.


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