Sunday, August 8, 2010

Tomato salad

I haven’t cooked dinner for seven days. I can’t remember the last time that happened. We’re visiting in Boston for a week, and our priorities for the trip were to organize a mini-move of some of our belongings from here out to the new house; to catch up with as many local friends and family as possible; and to squeeze in beach time wherever we could.

Well, the movers have left with six boxes packed full of miscellaneous household items, and as many pieces of furniture. We’ve managed two days at the beach. Dinners have mostly involved visiting favorite local spots with siblings, nieces, parents, and friends in tow.

And it wouldn’t be August in Boston without some of my uncle’s homegrown tomatoes. From the time I was Miss B.’s age, when I used to eat them like apples (tomato in one hand, salt shaker in the other) they have been one of the highlights of summer, and when I miss out I dream about them—even last year when August was the depths of Canberra winter. I’ve eaten them with avocado, with mozzarella, with chunky croutons, with red onion; but often I like to eat them in a no-frills salad, the way my mother and my grandmother made it. Since I haven't been cooking dinner, I'm eating them for lunch instead. I hear they're even good for breakfast.

Old-school tomato salad
4 ripe tomatoes
olive oil
3-4 basil leaves

Thickly slice tomatoes into a medium-sized bowl. Sprinkle evenly with salt to taste, then drizzle with olive oil. Rip the basil into small pieces and scatter over the salad. Mix thoroughly; either serve immediately or let sit for a while. (The longer you let it sit, the juicier it gets. This is especially good if you have some thick, crusty bread to dunk into the juice.) 

Serves 4 as a side salad, 2 as a substantial salad, or 1 who doesn't want to share.


dana said... Best Blogger Tips

i'm the same, i can't wait for my heirlooms to ripen. i like a dash of vinegar with the oil, and you're right - nothing beats a tomato panzanella. can't wait!!

Celia said... Best Blogger Tips

Beautiful! Still a long wait from our Sydney winter, but we're looking forward to our own tomatoes this Christmas!

Roving Lemon said... Best Blogger Tips

dana and Celia - both of you with tomatoes in your own gardens! I'm putting this on my To Do list for next summer...until then I'll just be buying out the farmers' markets!

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