I am not one of those people who absolutely loves tomatoes. You know - the ones who will eat tomatoes like apples or who put tomatoes on every sandwich and in every salad. You'll find chunks of tomatoes in their soups and pastas. Yeah, that's not me at all. Most of the year my version of tomatoes are used relatively sparingly and pureed and seasoned beyond recognition.
Except for in the summer. When the local farms offer those big, red, plump, juicy tomatoes at the market. Those tomatoes I love.
I was inspired to write about tomatoes because I purchased my first ones of the year at the market this weekend, dreaming of having them in salads all week. After my market visit, I spent the weekend visiting farmer friends in another city (who grow the world's greatest tomatoes) and they gave me even more!
I came home and will admit I did want to eat those tomatoes like apples. Instead I opted for tomato-heavy salads.
My favorite way to enjoy tomatoes is in a caprese salad. A slice of tomato, a basil leaf or two and a slice of mozzarella layered on a plate, drizzled with a little olive oil or balsamic vinegar and freshly-ground sea salt. With or without toasted french bread.
My problem was I didn't have a ball of mozzarella, only shredded. So I began thinking of other tomato salads.
My second favorite mixes equal parts of fresh chopped cucumbers and tomatoes with italian dressing.
I also had a few extra cucumbers, so this seemed like a better option. But the smell of those basil leaves had my mouth watering for caprese. I came up with this delicious solution:
Chopped tomatoes and cucumbers (I did more tomatoes than cucumbers) with chopped basil and shredded mozzarella mixed together. For the dressing, I combined a packet of dry italian seasoning mix with olive oil and a bit of vinegar and water.
It was AMAZING!
I hope you try one of these recipes. Please let me know if you have any questions or yummy taste reviews. :)
How do you enjoy your summer tomatoes?