Perfect tomato salad

Perfect tomato salad British tomatoes are in season, so look out for unusual varieties at farmer’s markets and by the roadside. I had lunch the other day (sea trout with samphire, both also in season) where the vegetable was a simple pile of five different-coloured varieties of tomato, raw, undressed.

How very different each tasted. If you see them, snap up Brandywine, in pink, red or orange with a superb sweet flavour; Banana Legs, long and meaty, good as a yellow tomato sauce; the sinister Black Krim, from the Crimea, which is brownish purple with a salty, smoky flavour; and Tigerella, striped red and orange, tangy and good in salads.

For red tomatoes, look out for Marmande, the classic French slicing tomato, huge and irregular, and Costoluto Genovese, the Italian version. For a salad, don’t make a classic vinaigrette, but copy the Italians by dribbling on the best Italian olive oil you can find, a splash of red-wine vinegar and torn basil leaves. Eat with country bread.