Thursday, June 7, 2012


Another non-recipe recipe for summer.  This is one of my go-to favorite dishes to bring to a party or potluck in the summer, and tastes delicious even a day or three after making it.

So first off you need some tomatoes.  In years past i've used plum tomatoes, because you don't want this to be too watery.  Having now made it with heirloom cherry tomatoes, i'm not going back.  The smaller tomatoes were easier to work with, and having a variety of color and taste was awesome.  But really, you just need tomatoes, cut into small pieces and thrown in a bowl.  Leave out the watery goop if you use full size tomatoes.  SUPER EASY, right?

Mince up some garlic.  My tomato averse spouse has explained to me that this really is simply a carrier for garlic and basil, but i actually enjoy the taste of tomatoes, so however much is up to you.  For this much i used about 8 cloves.

Take that garlic and a little extra virgin olive oil (a tablespoon-ish) and heat it up in a skillet.  Just get the garlic golden brown so it's not overpowering.  5 minutes maybe.  Let it sit off the heat while you do the next step.  No stove?  It'll taste fine with raw garlic.  Be sure to really mince it fine is all.

Cut up some basil.  Do fresh, none of that dried nonsense.  It'll look prettier and taste better.  I like to roll up a pile of leaves inside each other and then slice, to make thin ribbons without bruising the leaves.  Throw that in the bowl with your tomatoes.

Remember the garlic and olive oil?  Into the bowl.

Next add a tablespoon or two of balsamic vinegar to that bowl.  Gently mix.

You can add salt & pepper.  I tend to skip that because of the dietary needs of my family.

You can make it the night before, covered and refrigerated to really let the flavors mix, but if you're rushing it'll still be awesome so long as you use good ingredients.

Serve with sliced up french bread (toasted or plain), on top of salad greens, on top of chicken, on top of pasta... really, it goes good with a lot of things.  Add a little mozzarella cheese if you like.  

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