For the past three summers, right around the beginning of September (generally coinciding with Labor Day weekend, but seeing as French Labor Day is in May, that’s neither here nor there), I tend to utter the exact same sentence to the Country Boy.
“I feel like we haven’t had any tomatoes this summer.”
This is, of course, a gross exaggeration. We eat a phenomenal number of tomatoes every summer: big, multicolored heirloom tomatoes that we get from our local coop or from the fruit-and-veg stands throughout Paris. But no matter how many tomatoes we eat in a given summer, it will never feel like as many tomatoes as we ate for the eight summers that we worked in Paziols, where I made tomato salads for lunch and dinner pretty much every day for six weeks.
It’s strange, how comparison changes your perspective.
This is hardly a real recipe: all you need are really good tomatoes. My favorites are these yellow ones, which we call “pineapple tomatoes” in French. They don’t really taste like pineapple, but they do have a pineappley aroma, and I love their color.
You can also marinate this salad longer if you like. If it’s hot, I’d cover it with a dishtowel and place it somewhere cool. Whatever you do, though, please, please, please don’t put the tomatoes in the fridge. Everything else is negotiable.
Tomato Salad (serves 4)
6 heirloom tomatoes (I like a mix of colors and varieties), sliced
2 spring onions (I prefer the purple ones), thinly sliced
fleur de sel
1/4 cup excellent extra-virgin olive oil
Toss everything together in a bowl (I prefer a glass bowl and a wooden spoon. I know there was a reason, at one point, but now I can’t remember it). Allow the tomatoes to marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes. Serve.