Tomato and basil is a common flavour pair—perhaps a cliché—yet they’re flavoursome and abundant at the same time, so it’d be unfortunate to dismiss them. Nature trumps fickle food trends, hands down.
Ideas that immediately spring to mind are insalata caprese the salad with silken buffalo mozzarella and bruschetta the appetiser with garlic-rubbed country-style bread. These simple foods are best when the tomato is sun-ripened, the mozzarella is sweet and the bread is crusty. My eyes do not fall beneath the menu line when it sees this combination with olives and prosciutto on wood-fired pizza; it’s a heady brew.
There are other ways to enjoy them too. Stephanie Alexander suggests combining basil with butter and freshly ground black pepper to add to a fresh tomato soup or cooked tomato dish. All I can say is yes. Last night I cooked mussels with tomatoes in basil butter. It isn’t the prettiest looking thing, but believe me, every mouthful was full of win. The same idea can be applied to prawns.
For a simple side, I like to combine tomato and basil with green beans.