The Meathead’s Ultimate Tomato Recipe, Essence of August:
Preparation time. 10 minutes
Serve with. A crusty bread to mop up the juices and a crisp white wine.
3 large fresh vine ripe globe-shaped tomatoes
2 pinches of coarse sea salt
4 tablespoons of chips of aged Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
15 small leaves fresh basil, or 5 large leaves
1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1) The sequence of ingredients is important. First, slice the tomatoes thick, at least 1/4 inch, and lay them down. If you use mozzarella, alternate the disks of cheese with the tomato slices and spread the out, alternating, like a blackjack dealer.
2) Now sprinkle on the salt so it can start pulling out tomato juice. Not too much because the Parm is salty. The parm goes on next. Then the oregano and small basil leaves. If you are using large leaves, stack them, roll them into a green cigarette, and chop them crosswise into a chiffonade of thin ribbons before sprinkling them on.
3) Don’t mix the oil and vinegar. Drizzle them on separately so the colors show. Go easy, you can always add more, and I set them on the table so people can do just that if they wish. If time permits, let the salad sit for about 5 minutes so the salt can coax out some of the juices and they can mingle with the oil and vinegar.