Following are our current tomato salad recipes, from the Mediterranean, along with some general discussion of tomato salads.
Mediterranean food has its own unique qualities. Compared to the rest of Europe and North America, it has: less meat (in particular, much less red meat), more fresh fruit and vegetables (with a greater proportion of raw vegetables), more olives, olive oil and herbs. Tomatoes also feature very prominently in the Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet has long been recognised as being very healthy and is seen as the main reason that people living in the Mediterranean have a longer live expectancy (e.g. the live expectancy in France Mediterranean is about 3 years longer than in the rest of France).
The following recipes are from the French Mediterranean, but similar recipes would be found elsewhere in the Mediterranean, although there are some variations (e.g. the Greeks would typically add goats cheese to these recipes).
In much of France, recipes are more complex and their success is dependent on careful preparation. In the French Mediterranean, recipes are often far simpler, but depend entirely on using high quality and fresh ingredients. If you have a fully ripe tomato that has enjoyed the hot Mediterranean sun, its taste and juices explode in your mouth. You don't need fancy dressings or sauces to make it taste good, as the simple raw ingredients themselves are enough. However, the reverse is also true, if you don't have high quality ingredients, these recipes do not taste, as they are too simple to hide any short-comings. So get the freshest and ripest ingredients you can. If it is winter time and you can't get fresh tomatoes, you may be advised to keep these recipes for summer time, to avoid disappointment.
Tomato Salad Recipe 1: - A rustic recipe, which you would not be surprised to see in a simple village house.
Tomato Salad Recipe 2: - A less rustic, more sophisticated recipe.