Cherry Tomato and Blueberry Salad

Redcurrants are used mostly for jelly here, but in Europe the tiny tart berries are enjoyed fresh.  Rinse them and, if they’re still attached to their stalk, strip them off, using a fork as a comb.

For a nice treat, powder them with plenty confectioner’s sugar, and let them sit in the bowl, stirring occasionally, until sugar and berry juices meld into a clear syrup. Try them over a scoop of drained Greek yogurt. Or mix them with other summer fruits, like raspberries and blueberries for a wonderful fruit salad.

Here’s another fruit salad with a twist, in anticipation of cherry tomatoes and blueberries this summer. With a wedge of burrata and good bread, it makes a very pretty little meal.

Cherry Tomato and Blueberry Salad

For the blueberry vinegar:

  • 2 heaped Tbs. blueberries
  • 2 basil leaves
  • A pinch each of salt and sugar
  • 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar

For the salad:

  • 24 or so colorful mixed cherry tomatoes, halved (approx. 1 lb.)
  • 2/3 cup blueberries
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Snipped chives
  • 12-16 small basil leaves with bits of stalk

For the blueberry vinegar: mash 2 tablespoons of blueberries and 2 basil leaves with a pinch each of salt and sugar until they’re reduced to skin and juice. You can do this in a mortar and pestle or in a saucer using a fork.  Keep mashing until the juice is an even deep purple. Add vinegar and let sit a while. Strain through a little sieve to remove bits of skin, pushing on the solids to extract all the vinegary juices.

Arrange halved tomatoes cut side-up on a serving dish (larger tomatoes can be wedged). Scatter over blueberries. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with blueberry vinegar and olive oil. Snip over chives, and tuck small basil leaves into the salad with artful randomness. Serves four.

Tip: place saucer of blueberries  into a microwave for 5 seconds before mashing—just to warm them, not pop them. They’ll juice faster.

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