06 September 2008

Tomato wanderings

My feelings on food could probably be summed up with the idea that food picked at the height of ripeness in the right season does not need a lot of "messing around" with it to make it taste amazing.  Hence, my current preoccupation with tomatoes.  Here in eastern Washington, we have such a short tomato season, and must endure pasty, flavorless, shelf stable tomatoes for so long in the year, that I just want to gorge on them when they are at their best.  This week, along with the tomato soup from the previous entry, I made two simple tomato salads of note.  Make sure you use the most flavorful tomatoes you can find.  Enjoy!

Tomato and Basil Salad with Lavender Salt by Joie de vivre (pictured above)

(earlier in the season when lavender was in bloom, I dehydrated some and added the blossoms one to one with course salt.)

1-2 Tomatoes
10-12 Basil leaves
Olive Oil
Lavender salt.

Cut your tomatoes into slices and arrange nicely.  Top with basil leaves, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with lavender salt.  Voila!  Instant summer goodness.

Tomato, Melon, Cucumber Salad by Joie de vivre

2 Tomatoes
1 Cucumber
4 oz. Soft goat cheese
3 Tbs. Red Wine Vinegar
1 Tbs. Olive oil
Pinch of sugar

Peel cucumber, cut in half, remove the seeds and slice.  Slice tomatoes and watermelon (remove rind).   Toss together in a bowl.  Make a dressing by whisking together 3 Tbs. red wine vinegar, 1 Tbs. olive oil, pinch of sugar, salt and pepper to taste.  Pour dressing over salad and toss.  Sprinkle with goat cheese and eat immediately.


Hopie said...

Mmm, yum, lavender salt! Where do you get such a thing? I totally agree about fresh veggies. They don't need much to be amazing!

Joie de vivre said...

When lavender was in season earlier in the summer, I dehydrated some and made my own. One part lavender blossoms to one part course salt. It is good on just about everything. Even popcorn!

Lisa said...

Just found your blog. I think you've convinced me to buy the book you mention in your profile. Great tomato recipes.

Joie de vivre said...

The book French Women Don't get Fat changed my relationship with food in so many ways. I love her writing style and her joie de vivre! Let me know how you like it!

lemon_tart said...

Yum -- I'm totally going to try making lavender salt. That sounds fabulous.

Heather said...

You really nailed it about tomatoes. I'm anxiously, anxiously waiting for mine to ripen before the cold comes! It must be a lot worse for you on the east side.

bren@Flanboyant Eats said...

what a great summer salad. tomatoes are so darn delish in just about anything. they are the base in a lot of Cuban cooking!

hot garlic said...

Ooo -I love fancy salts ...actually make that I like ANYTHING fancy!

That tomato soup looks really good too!

Ann Minard said...

I also grow lavender and you bet your sweet patootie I am making some lavender salt this Summer!