When tomatoes are in peak season, it feels right to make the most of them, but flavour fatigue can easily set in. This tomato salad has some strong contrasts that makes it feel quite different to the usual dressed salad, combining spicy and aromatic Zhoug with Beldi Preserved Lemons to bring out the tomatoes’ sweetness. This is underpinned by a super thick, rich and nutty Tahini cream, which could be overpowering were it not for acidity in the rest of the dish, whilst a few capers and cornichons provide some pickle tang. Punchy enough to be a light starter, it is great at a BBQ, or even with some toasted pittas as a sharing snack.
For the Salad:
For the Tahini Cream:
Remove the stalks from the tomatoes and cut them into various random shapes and sizes. Place in a bowl, season with salt and pepper, drizzle with a little oil and mix to coat. Place in a colander and leave for 20 minutes to season and remove some of the juice. Cut the preserved lemons into quarters, remove the flesh, then finely chop the skin and set aside.
Make the tahini dressing by measuring the tahini into a bowl, then start adding the cold water, whisking constantly, till you have a very thick, smooth dressing. Add the garlic, lemon salt and stir again to combine.
Tip the tomatoes into a large bowl. Mix the zhoug with the 2tbsp olive oil in a small dish till combined, then add to the tomatoes, along with the spring onions and preserved lemon and stir to coat. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
To plate, place a large spoonful of the tahini onto a plate and spread out, then top with tomatoes and finish with a few capers, cornichons and if using, a few pinches of sumac.