This is a very simple salad which relies on the quality of ingredients. Try and buy the best tomatoes possible-Isle of Wight tomatoes from the Tomato Stall or Marks and Spencer have a good range. Baby cucumbers are a must-their crunchiness is key to the texture in this salad. And then we come to the butter beans. Before The Bold Bean Co. started producing their award-winning range of cooked beans you had to track down the El Navarrico brand –available in good delis and at Brindisa. If you can’t buy either of these I honestly wouldn’t bother with this recipe. Tinned butter beans are a very poor substitute-dry and pappy with no flavour. The lemony tahini and za’atar dressing is one you could use elsewhere- I often leave it thick and use it as a dip for crispbreads.
- 700g mixed tomatoes, vine, cherry, heritage etc
- 200g mini cucumbers, topped and tailed
- 345g Queen Butter Beans from the Bold Bean Co. (see intro)
- For the dressing
- Juice of one lemon
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
- 2 teaspoons za’atar
- 100g tahini (preferably Belazu)
- To serve
- Black olives
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Make a little cross in the base of each tomato and place in a bowl. Pour over boiling water to cover and leave for one minute. Drain and refresh in cold water then drain again. Peel off the skins.
- Leave the cherry tomatoes whole but quarter the large tomatoes. Scrape out the core and seeds-you don’t have to be too careful about removing every last seed. Roughly chop the flesh and place in a bowl. Season with salt and ground black pepper.
- Roughly chop the mini cucumbers and add to the tomatoes, seasoning them with salt. Drain the butter beans and rinse under cold water. Add to the tomatoes and cucumbers.
- For the dressing mix all the ingredients together-it will thicken up considerably. Stir in 4-5 tablespoons of cold water to let the dressing down the consistency of double cream.
- Pile the salad into a dish and drizzle over the dressing. Scatter over some black olives and drizzle with a little extra-virgin olive oil.