Post downpours, this year’s garden is not as productive as those of the past. So for today, Thursday, a throwback, a post from last year and one of my favorite recipes during abundant tomato years for pure simplicity:
July has arrived all heat and humidity, blinding bright sunshine, and the urge to do little more than lay by the waterside. While I tend to wilt in the heat, the cucumbers and okra are putting on and my peppers and tomatoes are in heaven, producing in abundance. Inspired by the bumper crop of tomatoes this year I decided to share a simple recipe for tomato salad, a personal favorite and perfect treat on a hot day or a beautiful (yet easy) side for your next gathering.
SUMMER TOMATO SALAD
4 large tomatoes of your choice, sliced
1 medium red onion, sliced
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup of fresh basil, chopped
¼ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
¼ cup quality extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
For a decorative party approach as seen in the photo, arrange your tomato slices on a platter and sprinkle with feta, basil, and parsley. The more variety you have in your tomatoes, the prettier the presentation. Drizzle with olive oil and season to taste. For a less formal approach, quarter and slice or cut the tomatoes to bite size and toss in a bowl with the onion and remaining five ingredients.
I use about a ¼ cup of olive oil to every four tomatoes, but adjust to your discretion. The key is to use high quality olive oil in an amount that does not overwhelm to tomatoes’ natural flavor. A dash of balsamic vinegar or fresh lemon juice is also a nice touch, depending on the type of tomato and again not using so much as to overwhelm the tomatoes. Hint: lemon juice is perfect with yellow and green toms as it brings out their citrusy acidity, while balsamic vinegar beautifully plays up the richness of chocolate and purple toms.