Since this blog went live a couple weeks ago, I've started actually reading cookbooks. I'm as guilty as anyone when it comes to skipping straight to the recipes, but it's actually quite interesting getting to know the personality behind the food before pulling out the measuring cups.
This is especially true when it comes to Earth to Table (Jeff Crump and Bettina Schormann). I read through the Summer introduction last night as I was soaking off the week in a bathtub with a glass of wine.
Cooking is easy in the summer; just don't ruin the way the food already tastes. What is easier than boiling some corn, or preparing some berries? A tomato salad is easy. Grilling is easy. Life is good in the summer.
In that same vein, I've put together the simplest tomato salad recipe that, if you're like me, can be made nearly start-to-finish with ingredients grown within a hundred miles of your kitchen (even better, in your backyard). I'm constantly playing with the vinaigrette recipe, using whatever we have on hand; if you don't have the type of vinegar I've listed below, substitute whatever you happen to have in your pantry.
Simple Tomato Salad
This will serve 4 as an appetizer/salad course, or 2 as a main course for lunch.
- 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
- Splash of balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon honey mustard
- 1 pint organic grape tomatoes, washed and sliced in half
- 1/4 small red onion, very thinly sliced (use a mandoline if you have one)
- 5-7 basil leaves
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Feta cheese (optional)
Pour the vinegars into a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and honey mustard until well-combined. Roll up all of the basil leaves together and cut into a chiffonade. Add the basil, the sliced onion, and the tomatoes to the bowl of vinaigrette and toss to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. If you like, serve with some crumbled feta cheese on top.