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Tomato Salad

INGREDIENTS:
Serves 4

* 4-6 tomatoes
* 1 bunch chives, finely chopped
* 1-2 shallots, finely chopped

SALAD DRESSING:
* 5 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 ½ tablespoon vinegar
* 1 ½ teaspoon salt
* black pepper, freshly ground
* 1 clove garlic, finely chopped

METHOD:
1. Slice the tomatoes
2. Place them like roofing-tiles close upon each other.
3. Combine the dressing ingredients,
4. Season dressing with salt and pepper.
5. Pour the dressing over the tomatoes.
6. Garnish with finely chopped chives and shallots.
7. Put the salad in the fridge for 1 – 1 ½ hour.

A simple tomato salad is so delicious. It is a perfect hors d´oeuvre but it works well with pasta too. Then all you need to do is to chop the tomatoes instead of slicing them, perhaps add some extra olive oil, more garlic cloves, some basil leaves, chopped parsley, shredded Parmesan cheese, freshly ground pepper……. Voila ! You get a really healthful and delicious dinner.

This time of the year I start buying tomatoes from a local producer. They have only travelled about 20 kilometers. I do not buy local tomatoes just because they are local, but because they are better. They are free from pesticides and herbicides. Local does not necessarily mean greener. It may sometimes be better for the environment to import winter tomatoes from Spain than to grow them here in Sweden in heated greenhouses.

The name “tomato” is derived from “tomatl“, the Mexican Indian name for the fruit. Although tomatoes were eaten by Mexican Indians, who probably developed the common large-fruited forms, they were long thought to be poisonous by other peoples. However, by 1550 tomatoes were being grown in Italy for use as vegetables, and by the middle of the 18th century they had achieved some use elsewhere in Europe.

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