Archive | July, 2012

Garden Greatness: Tomato Salad

10 Jul

I grew up in a beautiful house.  The original owner back in the early 1900’s was the head of the Garden Society of St. Louis, so our yard had a number of unusual plants, flowers and trees, with rose bushes climbing all the way up the enormous, steep driveway.

My parents were very dedicated to preserving the gardens and yard, and while everything thrived, I do have a distinct memory of the trouble with tomatoes.  Every year, my mother would diligently plant them.  And every year, they’d provide a feast for the terrifyingly aggressive neighborhood squirrels (they once broke into our house; that’s another blog post).

At a certain point, my mom gave up on the tomato plants (you can’t win ’em all).  But now that I live in California where every garden is lush, I have the luxury of copious amounts of tomatoes in the garden of the apartment where I live.  Even more luxurious, my neighbor, an avid gardener, is the one who does all the work, and once the bounty is too much for her to handle, she gives everything to me.

So today’s recipe is a super-simple, delicious summer salad you can whip up after you’ve plumbed the depths of the dirt (or taken someone up on their green-thumbed generosity).

TOMATO SALAD (serves 4)
6 tomatoes, cut in wedges and then halved
1 small white onion, thinly sliced (though I personally prefer a red onion)
2T olive oil
1T water
Salt and pepper to taste
Freshly chopped basil

Place tomatoes and onion in a serving bowl; sprinkle with olive oil, water, salt, pepper and basil.  Mix gently and serve.

“Look, Mom, I picked these myself!”

This is a fantastic side dish this time of year.  Mangia!