I’ve been wanting to make these wonderful things called moonblush tomatoes for a very long time. They are from a recipe by that genius woman Nigella Lawson- I’m a huge fan of her nutella crepes and her naan bread pizzas . Once I got going on the tomatoes I realised I needed to do something with them… so I decided to make a salad. But this would not be any salad- this would be the slowest salad in the world! because these pretty little tomatoes need to blush all night long. And I thought while I’m in a Nigella phase- let’s make her luminous red onions too which also need about 3 hours sitting around time. And so began the ‘Love you long time’ Salad- because you really have to love this salad to wait that long to make it!
So here’s the ingredients:

-500g on the vine cherry tomatoes or any kind of smaller tomatoes you can get your hands on. I went with two boxes of Woollies exotic tomatoes
– 1 teaspoon of salt
-1/2 teaspoon of sugar
-1 teaspoon of dried oregano (Nigella uses thyme but I prefer oregano)
– 2*15ml tablespoons of Olive oil Now with all these lovely ingredients DO NOT do what I did and mix them all together. That is not what the recipe says! How silly am I! goodness me!!

You are however more than welcome to make bugs out of the tomatoes… I know you shouldn’t play with your food but this just made me laugh too much!! The first step is to turn your oven on to 220 degrees Celsius. Next you cut up all the lovely tomatoes into halves (this is were turning them into bugs for the amusement of your audience is optional). Place these tomato halves cut side up in your ovenproof dish. You’re going to then sprinkle the tomato halves with the salt, sugar, oregano and olive oil SEPARATELY and in this order. Then once the tomatoes are happily sprinkled- you place them in your 220 degrees Celsius oven and immediately turn the oven off. Then you simply walk away and leave the tomatoes to blush overnight. DO NOT open the door! They are simply too shy and you will ruin the process! In the morning they are truly beautiful all wrinkled and crinkled, and oily and mushy.
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Next ingredient in the ‘Love you long time’ Salad is the luminous red onions. This recipe is also based on a Nigella recipe from her Forever Summer book. The ingredients are: 1 red onion, 1 tbsp dried oregano, black pepper, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (Nigella wants you to use red wine vinegar- but I haven’t a clue what that is? So I went with balsamic!) and 200ml of extra virgin olive oil. Peel the red onion and VERY finely slice it. Throw your sliced onion into a bowl, sprinkle over the oregano, grind a few twists of pepper, pour in the vinegar and the oil and toss well. Then cover this bowl of onions with clingfilm and preferably place in the sun for at least 4 hours. I love these onions because when making the salad I throw the whole bowl in- including the extra olive oil and vinegar which makes it a kind of unplanned dressing for your salad.
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And next up was the very quick part! Grab some leaves of your choosing, add cucumber, the moonblushed tomatoes, the luminous onions, some pepperdews and sprinkle a whole load of feta on top. This salad takes some serious planning and preparation- but it really is wonderful, packed with flavour and lots of oily goodness from the tomatoes and onions!

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