Thank you friends! You have been really patient…and we have been somewhat of a tease (No!…not in that way!). We realize that many of you have been waiting for the recipe to our parents’ homemade tomato sauce, which we reference frequently in other recipes. We’ve told you that if you didn’t have your own homemade sauce, that you could use passata or some other sort of tomato product as a substitute in many meals, and you’ve been very understanding…but you still ask about our parents’ sauce. And we’re happy you do!
They say you are what you eat. If that’s the case, then in the summer months we are villagers. When garden tomatoes have ripened, we use them to make, and eat, delicious Greek salad, also called a horiatiki salata (horio means village in Greek). We eat this salad every day. Not almost every day…but every, single, day. And we never tire of it.
It would be next to impossible to tire of a salad so full of flavour and amazing texture. For us, Greek salad or horiatiki salata is a gift of summer; easy to prepare, filling, deliciously fragrant and healthy. In fact, the only down side is that we live in a country where local, vine-ripened tomatoes are not readily available year round.
I say tomato, you say…yeah, but what kind of tomato? Greeks love tomatoes and we incorporate this fruit (yes, tomatoes are fruit) into several traditional recipes. When fresh tomatoes are called for, things are pretty straightforward; find the freshest, most delicious tomatoes and buy them. If you are lucky enough to have a garden, or even a small balcony that can accommodate a pot, plant some tomato seeds and enjoy freshly-picked, vine-ripened tomatoes for as long as the weather in your neck of the woods allows. Otherwise, try to find the ripest, sweetest smelling tomatoes at the grocery store and keep them on the counter until you are ready to use them. In our city, we are lucky to have a local company which grows beautiful vine-ripened tomatoes year round, in a rooftop greenhouse. Incredible! Maybe you have something similar where you live? Regardless of where you find your perfect tomatoes, do not place them in the refrigerator, particularly if you are planning to eat them uncooked. The cold temperature does bad things to tomatoes, damaging their inner membranes and giving them that nasty mealy texture that is very un-tomato like. Great tomatoes belong on the kitchen counter, showing off their bright red skins and fresh green stems.