Brightly coloured jellied seeds of tomatoes twinkling like jewels, wafts of basil as if you have just crushed a meadow of carnations underfoot …
and the bright fresh note of lemon rising to fill the nostrils … Add some gorgeous avocado to the mix and you have the essence of summer.
You can make a meal of a dish like this, and I often do. In its simplest form, the salad squished onto bread is a filling and tasty snack to enjoy in the setting sun. Add black or green olives, cured meats if you eat them, smoked fish, hot-smoked salmon, or pan-fried or barbecued fish fillets to make a light summer meal. Corn, boiled or barbecued, steamed baby potatoes, fresh green beans lightly blanched and tossed with garlicky olive oil … easy food, to enjoy outside without ceremony, just a pleasant way to celebrate the season’s delicious fresh produce.
If you have a fish smoker, or access to freshly smoked fish, this is the perfect salad to go with it. Serve the fish still warm on newspaper lined with baking paper (parchment) and let everyone dig in. It’s good!
A handful of tomatoes, halved or sliced
A bunch of basil, broken into leaves
A couple of avocados, cubed
A generous splash of fruity extra virgin olive oil, or citrus-infused EVOO
Flaky sea salt to scatter and freshly ground black pepper
Bread – decent stuff
Smoked fish – freshly smoked if you can get it
Wine – white or rosé
People – friends or family