This salad is best made with ripe tomatoes. My host father, Dario, showed us how to make this supremely easy yet wonderfully tasty salad. Best of all, there are just four ingredients so it comes together with no effort. ‘Maltagliati’ means to chop the tomatoes with no particular rhyme or reason so you really can’t go wrong—yet another reason to keep this salad in rotation on the menu so long as you’ve got good tomatoes. The key is the process by which the ingredients are combined. It’s what makes this shamefully simple salad taste otherworldly: sea salt and garlic are added to the chopped, raw tomatoes first. The salt draws the moisture out of the tomato and the tomato then draws in the oil from the garlic. Only after ten minutes should your best-quality olive oil be added, and only just a drizzle to give the salad a glistening and fruity finish. Everyone who has ever tried this salad is amazed at how delicious tomatoes can be.
Insalata di pomodori maltagliati
6-8 medium ripe tomatoes
Place in a shallow dish, like a pie plate or a small platter with a lip. Sprinkle the tomatoes with:
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon coarse sea salt
Mix with a spoon to combine. Allow to sit for at least ten minutes. Add:
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, just enough to lightly coat the tomatoes.