Have you ever noticed a correlation between the warm hot summer weather and not wanting to turn your oven on or cook indoors at all? I can easily be lured by the blue skies and the 70s and above temperatures not to give a second thought to cooking and instead go the nearest deli and pick up a dinner to go that will give me a night off from dinner duty.
However, when farmers markets sell local ripe fruits and vegetables, the temptation to eat out can be tamed. The seasons best not only showing off their beautiful exterior color, they also offer great sun-kissed flavor.
Salads offer a great meal alternative to cooking in front of an oven. They can also be easier to make when using fresh local ingredients picked at their prime because you don’t have to do as much to them in terms of preparation. You can just add a little salt and pepper to let them, and their flavors can speak for themselves. Not having to do much at all is how I want it.
A tomato salad can offer all of this as well as a stunning presentation with vibrant colors. It looks so good and is so satisfying that even carnivores may not mind taking a meal without meat off to enjoy.
The only caveat I have is the quality of each ingredient. This is when the saying, “You get what you pay for,” really rings true. Look for the best tomatoes you can find. And if you’re not growing your own, support your local farmers market. You’ll get the best tasting tomatoes money can buy.
Enjoy the start of summer vacation with great fresh food, family, friends, and fun.
Recipe: Summer Tomato Salad
A wonderful fresh tomato salad recipe featuring ripe tomatoes, avocado, basil, and a touch of balsamic vinegar.
2 pounds ripe tomatoes, mixed varieties of different shapes and colors
1/4 cup basil, keep some whole leaves and cut the rest into thin slivers
1 large fresh mozzerella ball
1 ripe large avocado
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cut the tomatoes into 1/4-inch slices. Layer and divide the tomatoes among four serving plates.
Sprinkle the basil in random fashion over the tomatoes. Reserve some slivers to top the cheese and avocado.
Cut the mozzarella into four equal pieces and add each piece on top of each plate.
Cut the avocado into thin slices. Divide the slices among the four plates.
Drizzle each plate with a little bit of balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle the cheese and avocado with the remaining basil.