Posted by: literallydelicious | May 26, 2010

Tomatoes and Feta Salad

We finally found a rain-free afternoon to visit Riddles Plant Farm in Sand Springs, where I picked up a half-dozen tomato plants. Yeah, I know, everyone else got theirs in the ground weeks ago, but that’s me: always running late.

I would have loved to get more than just three Whoppers and three Better Boys, but for health reasons (a knee that doesn’t do all the things a knee is supposed to), I’m not going to be able to put much work into a garden this year. Still, it was nice strolling the aisles, looking at the peppers and cucumbers and herbs — and the flowers! My little fingers were itching to get into the soil.

Usually my tomatoes do pretty well, but I never seem to get enough that I”m able to share many. Granted, we eat a lot of them fresh off the vine. Don’t cook with them — what a waste. We’ll eat salads galore, and no matter what else we have for a meal, we have thick slices of tomato alongside. There’s nothing better than fresh tomatoes (though what the heck is up with that skin???).

I think we were on a business trip to Calgary the first time I had ensalata caprese: thick slices of tomato and fresh mozzarella, layered with fresh basil leaves and drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I was in love before I’d finished chewing the first bite.

I don’t keep fresh mozzarella on hand, so we do our own version of the salad as soon as our tomatoes start ripening. First we get rid of that skin: drop the tomato into a pan of boiling water, leave 30 seconds, then move immediately to a bowl of ice water. The skin slips right off. A skinned tomato isn’t that pretty, but once you get it chopped up and doused with dressing, who cares? Just be careful, though, because they are slippery. I’ve lost more than one to the kitchen floor.

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TOMATO AND FETA SALAD

fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks

chopped basil

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil and basalmic vinegar

feta cheese

crusty Italian bread

1. Mix together everything except cheese and bread.

2. Slice bread and heat in oven until lightly browned. (You can brush it with butter or olive oil, but I prefer to do it dry, so it can really soak up the dressing.)

3. Spoon the tomato mix into a bowl; sprinkle with feta, and serve with bread.

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Responses

  1. Thank you for the basil. I have a ton if you need some.

    • Yumm, sounds wonderful. I got some fresh cilantro from Ashley’s boy’s salsa garden yesterday. Give me some fresh basil, and I’ll be a happy diner!

  2. Then you’ll appreciate that I found this wonderful antipasto recipe that uses lots of basil and (dare I say it?) balsamic vinegar. Yes, you’ll now find balsamic vinegar in my cupboard.

    • Feel free to share it, Jackie. I’ll eat ANYTHING with balsamic!


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