I can’t, just can’t, get over this salad recently made by Chef Julie for cooking club. I’ve since made it twice in my own home and am almost inhaling it in a slight panic mode.
Because this is it, you know.
Do people realize that? Yes dragging out the crock pots and scarfs and slick leather boots and cinnamony candles and comfort food recipes is oh so fun and lovely now but you recall March, right? And April? And kind of sort of May? Not cool man.
Each year that goes by I get more and more freaked out about the approaching winter. The darkness that sets in early makes me want to die. I don’t understand why, already, it’s pitch black at 7:15. Do you know what happens when that happens? I basically just go to bed. And my boys were feeling it too, 8:10 at the latest and they were passed out all last week. It’s just….depressing.
It’s not that I’m anti fall. Like any good super white girl, I am obsessed with fall. Especially in the clothing department. Yet fall kind of sort of equals winter. That’s just how it goes. So excuse me if I’m not jumping up and down for joy in my Fyre boots with a pumpkin spice latte in hand. I’m just….not ready.
And that’s why the last meeting of cooking club was appropriately named ‘lasp gasp of summer.’ It’s still 78 and sunny most days so comfort food was not allowed. There is a time and a place for that and it is not when we’re still in summer dresses and open toed shoes. Summer forever my friends, summer forever.
A clear sign the wonderfulness is all coming to a close would be this dish. As we were meandering at the bus stop I asked Julie what she was whipping up and she cleverly responded “um, it’s a surprise….!” So Julie. I had to laugh. Then she threw out heirloom tomatoes and I lit up from the inside out so even though 90% of stores are done with them, 100+ miles later she made sure she showed up with heirloom tomatoes.
And not just heirloom tomatoes. But heirloom tomatoes all dressed up in a basil vinaigrette with red chili pepper and and garlic and sea salt and all the things that make the jewels of summer even that more wonderfully delicious. Plop some burrata on top and you’ve got yourself a dish. Let’s let the 70+ degree days be what they are and end summer on a bang, shall we?
Get this one going soon – before it’s too late!
- 2 1/4 pounds mixed ripe tomatoes, different shapes and colors
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- A good pinch dried oregano (or chop up some fresh which is what I do)
- Fresh basil, chopped
- Red wine or balsamic vinegar
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and grated
- 1 fresh red chile, seeded and chopped
- arugula, optional, for plating
- This most basic of salads, there are a few notes to get this one right.
- 1. Try and find a variety of shapes and colors for the tomatoes. So pretty!
- 2. Slice and place tomatoes in a colander in the sink. Salt heavily. Don't skimp! Let them sit for 10 minutes or so to draw out even more flavor.
- 3. Meanwhile, whisk together remaining ingredients for the vinaigrette.
- 4. Place tomatoes on a platter (you can use some greens too here, if you'd like). Top with basil vinaigrette.
- 5. Burrata was not an option! Place on the platter and serve with some crusty bread.
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I want it again. I can still taste the different characters on this platter. Must we wait a year? Seriously.
Summer forever my friend!!
If I had to pick a ‘last meal’ this would be it. With champagne and ALL the burrata. This looks incredible!!
I’m so with you Christine, totally my last meal. With GOOD champagne. 😉