Minimal cuisine is the DNA of the DG. Unfortunately we can´t always find so magnificent ingredients
ingredients for 4 servings (cost about 2€ pp)
- 100 ml EV olive oil
- Mint flowers and tiny leaves
- 4 multicoloured tomatoes (4 kinds)
- 40 multicoloured cherry tomatoes (3 kinds)
I remember once when I had met Irene Papas, the notorious Greek actress. She was wearing a plain white dress, without any jewels, not even a watch. No make up, no eye shadow, nothing at all. And she was a Goddess, although she was not young at all.
-What the fuck does Irene Papas have to do with a salad? Are you totally crazy!!!
-I admit that I am crazy, but all I wanted to show is that if something is very pretty and tasty itself, it needs nothing or almost nothing more. Adding unnecessary “garnish” to a great ingredient, you make it worse, as you hide its beauty and quality with something common and useless.
Imagine the result, if, at today´s salad, we had added more ingredients. How would it be with onions, olives, lettuce or pepper? I am sure that it would be less clear and beautiful than the “simple” version.
-And what about the taste?
-Even more!!! Eating this salad with no other ingredients gives us the possibility to understand better the gustative micro-differences among the tomato varieties, something that a pungent onion or pepper or some super oily and salty olives would limit!!!
You know I believe in God. Well, I don´t think that there is a bearded good old man somewhere on the clouds who takes care of all of us. But I DO believe in nature´s superiority, I do believe in nature´s beauty, in nature´s greatness.
Well, not too much to write for this dish. We cut and pre-salt the tomatoes and the cherry tomatoes.
Pre-salting the tomatoes helps us elevate their aromas, in two words they are even tastier. After a quarter we put the tomatoes in plates decorating with freshly cut mint flowers and tiny leaves. We drizzle some olive oil (which must be of excellent quality), we add some coarse salt and we serve.
I consider this simple, Doric salad superior than any meat dish I have posted. I would love to only eat dishes like it, but these rare beauties cannot be found anytime. We can at least be happy to taste them even once or twice a year.
AN ALTERNATIVE VERSION made of:
- 100 ml EV olive oil
- A bunch of large leaf basil
- 40 multicoloured cherry tomatoes
Multi coloured cherry tomatoes are indispensable for this salad, I would never prepare it with common red cherry tomatoes. The salad is very minimal, so it needs something special. Respectively this is the way to treat special ingredients. To elevate the magnificent colours and the different shapes of the cherry tomatoes we just create a green background of basil.
Follow my suggestion and start preparing salads with aromatic herbs, such as mint, basil, tarragon etc or at least add some of them in more common leaf vegetables. Aromatic herbs don´t even need complicated vinaigrettes.
So, having a thesaurus like these cherry tomatoes, we just cut them in halves and we presalt them to elevate their aromas. We also treat with respect the basil, that means that we just drizzle with a gentle olive oil.
We put the basil leaves on the plate, we add the cherry tomatoes, we finish with the olive oil and we serve.