Monday, August 23, 2010

so... many.... tomatoes!

Well, it has finally happened. The Lonesome Road Studio Kitchen is about to be inundated with a bumper crop of tomatoes in various stages of ripeness. Eventually I will be getting out the heavy equipment and spending some time making pizza sauce to freeze, but in the meantime I'm making dishes that really emphasize the freshness and quality of a good garden-ripened tomato. In fact, just a couple of days ago, I made a delicious insalata caprese, a simple Italian salad of fresh tomatoes and mozzarella, olive oil and um.... oregano. Basil is the traditional herb of insalata caprese but we have plenty of fresh Greek oregano on hand so that is what went into my salad.

Hm. Will these become pizza sauce? Or maybe a nice cool Panzanella (Italian bread and tomato salad)?
Look at the size of these things!

Greek oregano.

Isn't this just gorgeous? And so fast and easy to prepare, it literally takes minutes. Just slice the best ripe tomatoes you can find, and layer alternately with slices of fresh mozzarella cheese. You can actually buy 7 ounce containers of the sliced cheese, which makes this even quicker. If serving for a special occasion, a large beautiful platter works well but I also use an 8 inch by 8 inch glass baking dish for the job. The salad can be chopped if you prefer, but the slices look prettier and and are obviously faster to prepare.
Drizzle with a high-quality olive oil, then sprinkle with slivered fresh basil (or in my case, oregano tastes very nice as well). Season liberally with sea salt and black pepper and allow to sit in your refrigerator, covered, for a little while. Before serving, allow the salad to warm up a bit to almost room temperature. An 8 inch by 8 inch dish of insalata caprese will serve 4 to 6; if you have any leftovers it is delicious tucked into an omelet for breakfast the next morning.

7 comments:

BlackStar said...

Yum! I need to put moz. on our shopping list. We're knee deep in tomatoes. They're spread out on a double bed size sheet on the dining room floor, ripening. I've had to start picking ours a little earlier because the mockingbirds have taken a liking to them.
This is the peak of tomato harvest for us. Keeps me canning and freezing. Love it~

Jennifer said...

Ooooh, yummy Lonesome! Your blog is gorgeous too.

Amber Rose said...

Tomato and mozzarella is SO good, with a bit of fresh basil, olive oil and salt. YUMMMM!
My parents were also saying how they got SO many tomatoes this year-more than they can eat!

Looks great!

Plantress said...

yum. Don't forget gazpacho. tomato w/basil, drizzled pesto and ripe tomto, fried tomato w/brown sugar and parsley...tomato juice, spagetti sauce. but the gazpacho would be most excellent right now if you have basil. mmm

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http://www.plantress.blogspot.com

Doris Sturm said...

Homegrown tomatoes are by far my most favorite vegetables/fruit? right next to California Avocados...I honestly could od on them! This looks heavenly and I'm very sad that I don't have a garden to grow these because the ones in the store, or even from the fields do not taste very good - the closest I ever came to getting homegrown here is the vine ripened in the store for $4 a pound, but that's about it!

Lonesome Road Studio said...

Yes, tomatoes really are fruits, aren't they, LOL?
Thanks for the comments everyone!
Plantress, thanks for the reminder to make gazpacho!

Christelle said...

Your tomatoes look gorgeous!!

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