Heirloom tomato and bocconcini salad

I almost didn’t include this salad because it barely rates as a recipe; however, we sometimes need to be reminded of the obvious and I honestly don’t think you can beat a simply prepared salad of beautifully ripe summer tomatoes. I will add that the tomatoes should be at room temperature and it’s important to let the seasoned tomatoes sit for a little while to allow the salt to draw out some of the lovely tomato juices. It’s also important to use a wonderfully aromatic olive oil.

Simple dishes like this depend on the quality of the ingredients used; underripe tomatoes straight from the fridge and stale oil will not create culinary wonders.


  • 800 g (1 lb 12 oz/2 punnets) mixed heirloom tomatoes (tomato medley)
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 green chillies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 handful basil leaves
  • 250 g (9 oz) bocconcini (fresh baby mozzarella cheese)


Depending on their size, cut the tomatoes into halves or quarters. Arrange the tomatoes on a serving platter and scatter the onion and chilli over the top. Season generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside for 30 minutes, to allow the flavours to develop.

Meanwhile, put the vinegar, olive oil and garlic in a small screw-top jar and shake to blend. Pour the dressing over the tomatoes and then top with the basil leaves and bocconcini.