Whether the tomatoes come from your own garden or your neighbors, there is no flavor comparison to the grocery store, so take advantage of the fabulous local tomatoes that are available right now.
Refrigerating tomatoes compromises their flavor and texture. Simply store the tomatoes on the cupboard out of direct sunlight.
I served this salad the other day and it was a big hit:
Tomato and Bread Salad
Serves 6 as a side salad or appetizer
4 c assorted cherry tomatoes cut in half
3 T olive oil
2 T Balsamic vinegar
2 T minced fresh herbs of choice such as garlic chives or basil
1 tsp kosher salt
A generous grind of fresh black pepper
2 c garlic rosemary croutons (see recipe below)
Fresh shaved parmesan cheese from a block of cheese (use a vegetable peeler for ease)
4 chive blossoms pulled apart (opt)
Toss the first 6 ingredients together.
Just before serving add the croutons, parmesan cheese and chive blossoms and toss one final time.
The tomatoes can be tossed with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, herbs and salt and pepper 1 hour before serving, though do not refrigerate.
Garlic Rosemary Croutons
2 T butter, softened
2 tsp fresh rosemary
6 T olive oil
1 clove garlic
¼ c shredded parmesan cheese
a generous grind of fresh black pepper
1 10 oz loaf crusty whole grain bread
Process the first 6 ingredients together in a food processor or blender. Slice bread and spread herbed butter on slices. Cut buttered slices into chunks and bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned and crunchy, 15-20 minutes. Cool before tossing into salad.
Croutons can be made the day before and kept at room temperature in a sealed container.
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