Have you ever reached that point in the season when you think if you see another ____________ (leaf of arugula, peach, squash or fill in the blank), you’re going to scream?
I get like that. And how. A few years ago it was Brussels sprouts, then butternut squash and Swiss chard. One year it was all about the beets. And now okra. I tend to be that way…fall in love with a veg and overdo it.
David, on the other hand, is not obsessive-compulsive. In fact, he turns his nose up at my repetitive nature in the food world. And he’s right. Again! Dammit!
Fortunately, the one thing I have not had my fill of this summer is tomatoes. I guess I have just been too busy eating melons and peaches. If you happen to be a tomato lover, the variety we have enjoyed at the Quarry Farmers & Ranchers Market is impressive, especially considering the lack of rain our farmers have struggled with again this year. Yes, we have had 26 more inches than we had last year at this time, but we desperately need some of that wet stuff that falls from the sky. Now.
But back to tomatoes. The variety that our farmers have grown for us over the last few months includes heirlooms, tomatillos, green tomatoes, Rembrandt, zebra, cherry, pear, Roma, San Marzano, beefy tomatoes and even Roma-esque tomatoes and in a rainbow of colors–yellow, orange, red, green and purple and even shades in between!
The ten beefy tomatoes on my kitchen windowsill were yearning for some attention and it was time to give them some love.
It’s my cousin’s husband’s 42nd birthday today and we invited them and their kids over for a backyard pool party last night. We threw some Shudde burgers on the grill for the boys and kids while us girls enjoyed tuna burgers. And because the birthday boy loves cole slaw, I made David’s favorite (and famous) pineapple cole slaw which was quickly devoured. (Maybe one day I’ll share our secret ingredient.)
A party at our house would not be complete without at least one dish featuring something from the farmers market, so I made this tomato salad recipe that I had pulled from the May 2012 issue of Bon Appetit magazine. The thick slices of perfectly ripe and red beefy tomatoes brightened up the buffet table signaling one of the many reasons we love summer.
And another example of how we love celebrating other people’s birthdays!!
Tomato Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette, Capers and Basil
- 3 tablespoons minced shallots
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 large ripe beefsteak or heirloom tomatoes cut into 1/2" slices
- 2 tablespoons salt-packed capers, rinsed
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 10 fresh medium sized basil leaves torn into pieces
Combine shallots, vinegar, salt and sugar in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil to blend. Set vinaigrette aside.
Arrange tomato slices on a large platter. Sprinkle capers over, season with salt and pepper. Scatter basil over the top. Whisk vinaigrette again and drizzle over salad.