One of Brillat-Savarin famous quotes is his belief that The discovery of a new dish does more for human happiness than the discovery of a new star. Hard to argue with that, unless you're an astrophysicist. Ever tried eating a star? Take it from a chemist, burning balls of gasses are not palatable. As much as I agree with the Frenchman quote, I have to confess that given the choice between a new dish and a new ingredient I'd go always for the new ingredient. With a new dish, once you taste and enjoy it you're done. Having a new ingredient instead is like having a new toy: I can play with it, taste, test and tinker around till I know it better and start getting ideas, or, well, just nick them from a cookbook.
You can imagine my happiness in finding not one but three different vegetables I hadn't seen before in one of local the supermarkets, curiously the one that usually has the worst greengrocers section. I bought a good amount of all three and started making a cooking plan. The first vegetable to land on my chopping board were yellow tomatoes. I always wondered why in Italian tomatoes are called pomodori or pomidoro which means golden apples. I guess the colour of my yellow tomatoes might be a good explanation: maybe the first tomatoes to reach Italy were yellow.
Well, the past is the past, better concentrate on what's there. Before deciding what to do with the tomatoes I sliced one and had a taste: mild, pleasantly sweet, definitely a more subtle taste than normal red tomatoes. I toyed for a while with the idea of pairing them with other mild tasting ingredients but decided instead for a stronger contrast, matching the yellow tomatoes with stronger tasting ingredients and hoping their taste would not get overpowered. In the end I went for a double tomato salad, yellow sliced and tiny Romas diced, with some fresh oregano and a few black dry cured Turkish olives. I t worked like a charm: the two tomatoes created a very nice match and oregano and olives, added in a small quantity, added a nice flavour contrast. It made a nice side dish for the tiropitakia. Plus the salad looked great, don't you think?
Two tomatoes salad
serves four as side dish
8 medium sized yellow tomatoes, sliced
8 baby Roma tomatoes, diced
16 dry cured black olives, pitted
4 sprigs of fresh oregano, leaves and tips
for the vinaigrette
4 Tbsp EVO oil
2 tsp Balsamic vinegar (a decent commercial one, not the "real" aged one)
salt, freshly grated black pepper
Lay the yellow tomato slices at the bottom of the plate, sprinkle with chopped Roma tomatoes, olives and some fresh oregano. Sprinkle about 1 Tbsp vinaigrette on the salad.