When you make a commitment to seasonal eating, one of the most difficult things is facing the black hole when quality tomatoes stop being available. So when tomato season hits – like now – you have to make the most of it.
Eaten by hand, sliced on some buttered toast, cooked into a fresh sauce, slow roasted and turned into tomato candy, however you like it, a tomato aims to please.
Combined with the rest of the best of summer, tomatoes sing. Peaches, fresh green beans and new potatoes, or crisp cucumbers all bring out the best in a tomato. A little bit of salt or some tang to contrast with the sweetness keep the flavors in these salads from becoming a cool version of tomato sauce.
The ingredients come together almost effortlessly to enjoy both the sun and the sun-warmed tomato. Get it while you can.
A traditional panzanella is made up of bread, tomatoes, and cucumbers. I’m always looking for any way to add a summer peach to a meal, so I substitute the cucumbers with peaches. The texture of the overall salad is improved with peaches as well – only subtle contrasts. Perfect for a sultry night when it is simply too hot to cook.
We have a single guy friend who comes through town periodically. He is a great guy, very funny. He is also living the life of a solitary dairy farmer. One of these days he will find a woman who shares his love of milk. And when he does, he says he is sending her to our house so I can teach her to cook (assuming she can’t already). This salad is the reason he says that. Perfect served with a glass of milk.
This is an old recipe in my house, except, it isn’t a recipe so much as a bowl of veggies tossed with vinegar. My grandmother made it with the things that ripened at the same time in her oversized garden. We ate it nearly every night in the summer. I honestly thought it was a Ukrainian thing only, but on our honeymoon in Cuba we were served almost the exact same salad in seaside fish shacks. Make sure your favorite vinegar-lover is around to drink the dregs from the bowl when everyone is finished. My Hubby and daughter now fight over that treat.