04/13/2012 09:16 am ET Updated Aug 31, 2012

Chorizo And Tomato Salad

On a particularly long, particularly cramped overseas flight last week from Zurich to Boston, I was desperate for distraction and watched a lousy movie and an entire episode of Jamie Does Andalucia. Not normally a fan of Spanish cuisine, I was surprised at how appealing was a lot of the stuff Oliver made on that show -- earthy, beautiful and, as it turned out, delicious. So I decided to try one of the recipes when I got home. I put it together from my memory, as jet-lagged as it was after that tedious flight.

Oliver calls it a salad but it's really a kind of interesting side-dish, one that would accompany well a simple roast chicken or grilled fish, or serve as a light and tasty lunch. It's also good piled up on some crusty bread.

As in most Mediterranean cooking, ingredients are key. Take the extra time and perhaps expense to source the best olive oil, vinegar and meats, and choose in-season, local vegetables whenever possible.

There were no ingredient amounts given in the episode I watched, so I guess-timated, going by look and taste. As long as you use the best ingredients, and adjust them according to your taste, you can't damage this simple, rustic, flavorful dish.

Serves 4 as a side

Ripe tomatoes, about 3-4 depending on their size
Extra virgin olive oil, about 2 tablespoons -- for this dish try a Spanish one
Chorizo, about 6 inches -- recipes for chorizo vary according to region of origin; you might need to sample different ones to find one you really like.
Fresh Herbs, a handful of each -- like basil and parsley; or try thyme and parsley, or oregano and parsley
Sherry vinegar, preferably Spanish
1-2 scallions
1-2 cloves of garlic
Pinch of salt and pepper

Cut the tomatoes and the chorizo into chunks, about 2" pieces, or smaller.
Pour evoo into a skillet and place on med-high heat. When oil is hot add chorizo chunks and pan fry until chorizo is crispy and dark on all sides. Meanwhile, pile the tomato chunks into a shallow bowl. Slice the scallions and add them to bowl. Roll up the herbs together into a cigar shape and slice through the roll. Slice the garlic. When the chorizo is dark, add sliced garlic and watch it carefully. Cook just until the garlic starts to take on color, a few minutes. At this point, pour in about 2 tablespoons of the vinegar. Be careful of a flare-up. Turn off the heat.

Add the chorizo, garlic, vinegar mixture to the tomatoes. Shower with the herbs, drizzle with a little of the oil from the pan which has now turned a deep red from the paprika in the chorizo. Mix it all together gently.

Serve with goat cheese and a glass of sherry -- enjoy!