April 22, 2013

My Tomatoes Runneth Over...

If you are a tomato person, you will want to check back here from time to time and here's why:  I have an exploding tomato population.  As someone said to me a few days ago, this is not a bad problem to have! 
So let me just tell you now that for the next few months, there will likely be a number of recipes here using tomatoes...  Salsas, tomato tarts, tomato jam, tomato soup, etc.

Sometimes I am hesitant to put recipes here that I think will be too simple or maybe you just won't find that interesting.  Recently, there was a discussion amongst a few of my foodie friends regarding the subject of "overdoing" food. 
Example: a cookie inside of a brownie inside of a cupcake inside of a pie, then deep fried and topped with caramel and chocolate sauces, whipped cream and sprinkles.
Obviously this is a gross exaggeration, but you catch my drift.

My point is, sometimes food doesn't need fussing with.   When you are working with gorgeous produce (or any other food for that matter), it's ok to let it stand on it's own.  If something is at it's absolute best, let that be the focal point.
When things are doused in sauce or coated with too much crap, I often wonder what the cook is trying to disguise.  Sometimes it's nothing, but there are times when the product needs a little help or it's about to turn, and that's fine too if it prevents food from going to waste.
We've all been a bit overzealous in our purchases from time to time and there have been occasions when we just can't get to everything before it goes bad. 
This is the salad to make when everything you have is at it's peak.

This salad is the perfect light and refreshing side to grilled fish or chicken.  It is a healthy swap for  potato chips when you need something with a little crunch and texture alongside your sandwich.

If possible, use a variety of tomatoes as they each have slightly different flavors and textures. 
The mix of colors will also make it more visually appealing.

Tomato & Cucumber Salad

1 English cucumber, quartered & sliced
2 large tomatoes, diced or 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved or whole
1 cup marinated quartered artichoke hearts
1/2 cup pitted mixed olives
1/4  lemon, sliced paper thin
1 tsp lemon thyme (or regular thyme), chopped
2 tbsp Italian parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 tsp fresh chives, chopped
3 - 4 tbsp Olive oil
1- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
pinch pepper

-Place all ingredients in medium bowl and mix to combine.  I usually let it sit for 10 minutes or so, that's about the extent of my patience.   Dig in!

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