When I went Paleo, I assumed that meant I would never have a tomato-basil salad again. We all know tomato-basil salads require mozzarella cheese, or at the very least, a sprinkle of parmesan. It’s so awesome, it has a name — even my 10-year-old neighbor knows what a Caprese salad is.
I was wrong. You can make a simple, fast, tomato salad without cheese. And you know what? It’s awesome. My tomato plants are going crazy right now (they have pulled over two heavy-duty tomato cages already), so I grab about a pint of those, a few giant leaves of basil, some oregano and a tiny bit of red pepper flakes. You don’t even miss the cheese.
By all means, if you are primal, please add cheese! But if you’re not, know that there is enough flavor in this salad that you won’t even miss it. I serve this with just about everything, but it’s especially good as part of Nigella Lawson’s Steak Tagliata.
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
1/4 cup basil leaves
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
Half or quarter the cherry tomatoes, and place in a large bowl. Try to resist tossing one to the dog. Stack the basil leaves and roll them like a cigar; slice into narrow ribbons. Add basil, olive oil, red pepper flakes, oregano and balsamic vinegar to the tomatoes. Stir gently with a spatula to mix. Let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes, then serve.