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The Perfect Tomato Salad


  • 3 tablespoons best-quality olive oil
  • 1/4 cup best-quality balsamic vinegar
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, rinsed and halved length-wise (cherry tomatoes are a fine alternative)
  • 1/4 loosely packed basil leaves, sliced thin, as in a chiffonade coarse salt freshly ground pepper.


Heat the olive oil and a little less than half the vinegar over a low flame until bubbling and just beginning to reduce, about 2 minutes. Toss the tomatoes with the hot liquid, sliced basil and salt and pepper to taste. Go easy on the salt, you’ll add more just before serving. Cover and allow to sit out before serving, up to 4 hours. Just before serving, reduce the remaining vinegar in the same manner as before: over a low flame, watching it bubble until it begins to reduce in volume. Toss the tomatoes in their own juices, then drizzle the newly reduced vinegar over the mixture and toss lightly. Add a final sprinkling of coarse salt, to taste.

Blackberry Elderflower Spritzer with Mint


  • 1 liter soda water, chilled
  • 1/2 cup elderberry flower syrup, chilled
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • About 1/3 cup blackberries, washed
  • 1/4 mint leaves, bruised


Whisk the soda water and elderberry flower syrup with the lime. Stir in the blackberries and muddled mint leaves and serve immediately.

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