How many times can I apologize for my tendency to disappear from blogging for months at a time? To any of you who are still out there – I honestly can’t thank you enough for keeping up with me.
For the past few months I’ve been feeling less than creative in the kitchen – mostly eating the latest pasta I’m obsessed with, the same cauliflower and roasted chickpea grain bowl, and shakshuka. I really want to start having fun cooking again, experimenting in the kitchen, and sharing recipes here and I’m gearing up plans to make sure that happens. And what better way to ignite that spark than peak season tomatoes?
I don’t know how I feel about late summer / early fall especially after moving back to a climate with seasons. One week I finally get the crisp fall air I’ve been waiting for and give into my never ending quest for the perfect pair of black over the knee boots ordering yet another pair. I get excited for mornings reading a book with hot tea next to my heater in the world’s greatest chair (not sponsored but IKEA hmu I’ll sing this chair’s praises until it’s discontinued and then lead the fight to bring it back). I wonder when it’s okay to watch Halloweentown. I shuffle my liked songs on Spotify and linger a bit too long before skipping Sleigh Ride because it’s really not time yet. But then the crisp air rolls out and I get another 80º day with 60% humidity, have to put away the cute jacket in exchange for the shorts I’ve already worn a thousand times, and wonder why I thought it was a good idea to move to New York (I’m pretty sure when I see Central Park in fall I’ll remember).
All that said, peak season tomatoes, corn, and nectarines make late August and early September worth enduring. So when I went home for Labor Day and convinced my family to have a barbecue this past weekend, peak season tomatoes had to make an appearance. I wanted something fairly simple to let the tomatoes shine and thought about bruschetta. But honestly who wants to individually assemble bruschetta for 20 people and I worried that if I piled juicy tomatoes on bread and left it out for people to eat at their leisure the bread would get soggy. Instead I made a tomato salad with all the ingredients I’d put in bruschetta and put it out alongside toasted baguette slices for those of us who aren’t afraid of carbs. A deconstructed bruschetta if you will.
These tomatoes and some elote guac really fought it out for most popular app at that barbecue and I honestly think I got more questions about the tomatoes. The key to these was letting them sit out at room temp for a little while so the flavors all marinated together. Someone asked me what I did to them to make them so sweet and as much as I wanted to take credit I had to admit that they were just really good tomatoes. If you make this, use any type of tomatoes that look good at the store or farmers’ market. If it’s the right season I promise you’ll have a winner on your hands.
- 2 lbs peak season tomatoes chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1 cup fresh basil torn or chiffonaded
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine.
Let mixture sit out at room temperature to marinate until ready to serve, minimum 15 minutes.
Serve with toasted baguette and enjoy!