When I was a child we used to spend a lot of our holidays in self catering houses in France. We used to drive from Belfast to Dover, stopping to stay with my aunt and uncle and my grandparents on the way. I have lots of memories of those holidays. It was exciting visiting shops to buy sweets and bread and using a different language. We always used to travel in July and usually celebrated Bastille Day in the small villages we stayed in. This always seemed to involve amazing firework displays and parades around the village with Chinese lanterns.
On these holidays food was always relaxed and eaten late in the day. My mum often used to prepare Tomato Vinaigrette Salad, which goes with everything and the juice is lovely when mopped up with a slice of French baguette. The Vinaigrette dressing can be modified depending on what you have to hand, and when in France a splash of wine always made an appearance in the dressing. It can be eaten as part of a salad or a side dish with a hot meal, it is very versatile. It is also really quick and easy to make but looks elegant on the table.
This is the recipe
Tomato Vinaigrette Salad
- Tomatoes (about 4 or 5 depending on how many people)
- ½ red onion
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon grainy mustard
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- ½ teaspoon crushed garlic
- Slice the tomatoes into thin slices and place on a plate.
- Chop the red onion into small chunks and scatter over the tomatoes
- In a small jug mix the olive oil with the balsamic vinegar.
- Add the other ingredients into the oil and vinegar mixture and mix well.
- Pour the vinaigrette sauce over the tomatoes, you can use as much as you want depending on your taste. It keeps well in the fridge if you do not use it all.
The vinaigrette dressing can easily be modified with the addition of wine or herbs, the important part to remember is to use three parts oil to one part vinegar and then experiment.