Old Fashioned Tomato Salad

For some reason I have a lot of cherry tomatoes here today. It’s the best time of the year to have them, but why did I think I needed 3 pints of them? Maybe so I could make this salad.

So…

Get those tomatoes.

Multi-coloured tomatoes.

Cherry tomatoes.

Cherry tomatoes.

Get the milk and egg ready.

Milk and egg.

Milk and egg.

Start making the dressing.

Mustard powder, into the saucepan.

Mustard powder.

Mustard powder.

Add the flour.

Flour.

Flour.

And the sugar.

Sugar.

Sugar.

And some salt and some black pepper too.

Add some pepper.

Add some pepper.

Add a little of the milk to make a paste. I use a Magiwhisk just like Nigella Lawson!

Pouring in some milk.

Pouring in some milk.

Then, when you have a paste, add the rest of the milk.

All the milk is added.

All the milk is added.

This was cooked for over low heat for a while (5 – 6 minutes), to make sure that the floury taste was gone. Then the egg and vinegar were added.

Adding the vinegar.

Adding the vinegar.

Here’s how it looks.

Salad dressing, pre-oil.

Salad dressing, pre-oil.

Add the oil.

Olive oil goes into the mix.

Olive oil goes into the mix.

Whisk the dressing while it sits in a pot of very cold water.

More whisking using my Magiwhisk.

More whisking using my Magiwhisk.

While the dressing was cooling, I sliced the tomatoes. Then I dressed them.

Old Fashioned Tomato Salad.

Old Fashioned Tomato Salad.

The recipe is here: http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/old-fashioned-tomato-salad-217
And some additional and valuable instructions are here: http://www.nigella.com/kitchen-queries/view/salad-cream-for-tomato-salad/5137

Old Fashioned Tomato Salad
Serves: 6

This tomato salad is all you need for a summer starter. What I do is take the tomatoes out into the garden, uncut, on a flat plate or two, for an hour before I want to make the salad: it takes any chill off them and makes them taste somehow more tomatoey. Cherry tomatoes perhaps sound new-fangled rather than old-fashioned, but I’m coming to that. For the dressing is, and I refuse to apologise for it, nothing more nor less than that great – though, now that we live in the extra-virgin age, greatly discredited – item from the English culinary canon, Salad Cream. Banish all childhood memories of sick-flavoured gloop in a jar: this is worlds and E-additives apart. The recipe I give for it is by and large adapted from Margaret Costa: I have substituted tarragon vinegar, which I prefer here, but do use cider vinegar, as she stipulates, if you want. Any leftover salad cream can be stored in the fridge in an old jam jar; indeed you may find you want to make double the amount below, so well will it go down.

Ingredients

1 lb cherry tomatoes (halved)
1/4 teaspoon English mustard (or a pinch of mustard powder)
1 heaped tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon superfine sugar
salt
black pepper
1 cup whole milk
1 large egg (beaten)
1/4 cup tarragon vinegar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
chives (or green parts of spring onions/scallions)

Method

Half fill a sink with cold water.

Combine the mustard, flour and sugar, with about a teaspoon of salt and a good grinding of pepper, in a heavy-based saucepan. Add a little of the milk and stir to mix to a smooth paste, then put on a gentle heat and keep adding the milk, and stirring as you do so. I find my Magiwhisk the best thing to banish lumpiness here, but it’s not a difficult operation whatever you use.

When all the milk is in, add the beaten egg and vinegar and keep on whisking until it’s beginning to thicken. When the mixture’s got the texture of single cream, whisk in the oil then plunge the pan in the sink of cold water and continue whisking for a while.

When it’s cool (you can pour into a bowl then put the bowl over ice if you want speedy cooling), cut the tomatoes in half and arrange on one huge plate or two fairly large ones.

Drizzle a few spoonfuls over (don’t drench: think Jackson Pollock) then add some chopped spring onions or chives. Unexpected heaven.

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