The most refreshing tomato
The simplest thing can be the most perfect thing and we are going to propose a simple tomato salad to prove it. But it's not just any tomato salad, or rather it's not a salad made from just any tomato. "When you pick the already ripe tomato right off the vine, that's when you get that tomato that's so sweet and so juicy, with its full flavor, that real tomato flavor." As explained to us by Agnes Zander, the director of Sències Can Girona in Sitges, a farmhouse open to the public that offers Earth culture experiences, ranging from acquiring local Km0 seasonal produce to participating in activities in the vegetable garden or learning about the rural world.
The ingredients for this tomato-tomato salad:
- A tomato freshly picked from the vine, preferably of the “rosa ple” or “cor de bou” variety.
- Spring onion
- Extra virgin olive oil.
- Course sea salt.
- A few basil leaves
The preparation of this dish is so simple because the secret lies in the genuineness of the produce, in the confidence in this local Km0 tomato, which has been cultivated with love and left to ripen on the vine, to enjoy all its essence. Agnes recommends taking the tomato (naturally ripened, otherwise it's not suitable) and peeling it, "because the skin can be a tad hard to digest." Cut it very thinly, as if it were a carpaccio and add the finely chopped spring onion. Then just sprinkle it with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of coarse sea salt, with nothing added. Topped with a few basil leaves, we will have before us the best way to enjoy the experience of a real tomato's flavor.
This delicacy is only possible with local Km0 tomatoes grown in the traditional way. "When a tomato doesn't ripen on the vine," warns Agnes Zander, "and is picked when it's green so that it can be transported for miles and miles, it will eventually take on its red color, but not the characteristic flavor of a well ripened tomato." On the other hand, the variety has to be taken into account: "Sometimes we find tomatoes with very hard skin and no flavor, because the retail trade gives preference to produce shelf life. The farmer who grows local and traditional varieties, however, is looking for a good tomato, even if it is more delicate and lasts less." And finally, Zander recommends that the tomato shouldn't be stored in the refrigerator: "If the tomato is really good, it's better not to put it in the fridge, because the change in temperature affects its properties."
The tomato is a summer fruit and, for this reason, nature, which is wiser than we sometimes think, provides us with a product that refreshes us, which is what we need to coexist with the heat. In addition, it allows us to eat it without excessive preparation, it saves us time. "When you eat seasonally, not only are you respecting the environment and eating better food, but also what nature offers you in your own surroundings is the most appropriate at any given moment," says Zander. That is why at Sències Can Girona they promote this contact with the rural world, not only offering local Km0 products, but also allowing us to get closer to traditional production, to nature's cycle and to a whole series of activities that bring us closer to the Earth.