When Mum came to visit recently, she left an enticing pile of magazines from the UK. It’s a real treat to read magazines in English every so often – even if I no longer recognise some faces that go with the gossip – is that what happens after being in France for so long? Flicking through the YOU Magazine, this inspiring salad of tomatoes with strawberries by Lucas Hollweg had been earmarked by Mum – I think it was something I was supposed to make when she was over. Sorry, Mum. I’m a bit late but voilà, here it is for you to make it!
I discovered this “Spicy Globe” basil plant a few years’ ago. The leaves are so small that there’s no need to chop them up for cooking. They are also particularly powerful and, when added to a salad like this one, it adds a touch of peppery spice to it. Speaking of peppery spice, the rocket leaves (or arugula for my American friends) balance out the sweetness of the strawberries.
Perfect on a sizzling summer day, this is sheer bliss with a glass of chilled rosé, a soft-on-the-inside and freckled, crusty-on-the-outside French baguette, listening to Strawberry Fields forever. I could eat this forever with its fresh, fruity and savoury flavours. Here, I also tossed in a few pre-cooked asparagus spears (7 mins in boiling water) since I was surprised to find them still at this late stage at the market.
Cherry Tomato Strawberry & Rocket Salad
Adapted from Lucas Hollweg’s recipe for Tomato and Strawberry Salad
(YOU Magazine from the Sunday Times.)
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
300g / 11oz cherry tomatoes, halved
200g / 7oz rocket salad 100g strawberries, hulled & quartered
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 tsp balsamic vinegar
100g / 3.5oz parmesan reggiano (ensure it’s shaved, especially for good company)
a few asparagus spears, cooked (optional)
a handful of small basil leaves sea salt & ground peppercorns, to taste
a handful of wild strawberries
Mix together the olive oil with balsamic, season and toss all the ingredients together gently.
Serve immediately, adding the wild strawberries as a decoration.
Why not accompany it with a garden herb macaron from my first book, Mad About Macarons?