Serves 6 or so
- 4 large tomatoes
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 small cucumber
- 1 red and 1 green pepper
- 6 spring onions, or a couple of small red onions, peeled
- 6 baby artichokes
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- 100 ml best extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small bunch fresh basil, leaves picked from the stalks, sliced
- 16 anchovy fillets, in oil or salted
- 100 g black olives, stoned
- Core the tomatoes and cut them into quarters. If they are very large, cut into 6 pieces. Pu them in a bowl, salt well and leave them for 30 minutes or so until all the white juice runs out.
- Bring a pot of water to the boil then gently place your eggs in and simmer them for 8 minutes. Drain them, but leave in the pan and run cold water over the top for about 5 minutes. Pee; and halve or quarter them.
- Seed the cucumber using a little spoon and cut the flesh in fine slices at a bit of an angle. Skin and seed the peppers and slice them and the spring onions not too finely.
- Remove the tough outer leaves of the artichokes and slice them as finely as you can. Mix them on their own with half of the lemon juice
- Put the chopped garlic into a large salt bowl, then mix the remaining lemon juice, some salt and pepper, about two thirds of the olive oil and most of the basil. Drain the tomatoes, then add them along with the rest of the vegetables and give it a gentle toss. At this stage I leave it for an hour or so to let everything soften and for the flavours to merge a little.
- When you are ready, put the salad in a serving dish and top it with the halved eggs, anchovies and olives, scatter with a few leaves of basil and drizzle over the remaining olive oil.
Recipe by Alex MacKay and photo by Peter Knab