I’m not sure why, but I didn’t feel like making my originally-planned dinner of eggplant burgers. I have eggplants coming out of my ears so I need to use them up soon. But Troy came home and wanted venison on the grill, so I poured over my Simply in Season cookbook for some suitable side dishes while he fired up the grill and thawed the steaks. One of the nice things about this cookbook is I don’t find myself scrambling for ingredients – I usually have the stuff I need on hand.
The Greek Tomato Salad recipe was no different. I used the rest of the heirloom tomatoes that I grew at my dad’s this summer. It was a really weird year for tomatoes. A northern blight came through and killed most of them. Our CSA only had them for a few weeks before declaring that we wouldn’t be getting any more. The organic seeds that I bought and planted at my dad’s? He managed to keep a few plants alive using copious amounts of fungicide, which I found a little ironic but appreciated the efforts as they were the primary source of tomatoes this year. Looks like I’ll have to wait until next year to do tomato canning and other summer tomato recipes.
Funny thing about heirlooms, they taste great but look rotten. My dad tossed a bunch before I explained that you can still use them even if they are split on the top. I love him dearly, and since he was a traditional farmer for his entire life he has a lot of knowledge – just not so much on the organic front.
But back to the recipe. Easy-peasy, chop up 4-8 tomatoes (the instructions say to peel them, but seriously who has the time for that?) Also slice up a medium onion (I used a red onion), 1 green pepper, and a cucumber if you have it (I didn’t miss it). Mix. Then for the dressing mix together 2 T chopped parsley (could use any other fresh herb here), 1 T olive oil and 1 T balsamic vinegar, and 1 clove of garlic, minced. Or take the garlic and chop it with a knife instead of using a mincer. It’s kind of fun seeing how small you can get the pieces.
You then mix it all up and add salt & pepper, garnish with mozz or feta or kalamata olives. Guess what? I forgot that part and didn’t miss the garnishings.
The verdict: Even without the garnishings, it was AWESOME! I credit the heirloom tomatoes. Even our best friend’s middle schooler can tell heirlooms from hydroponics. Very refreshing, and worthy of the last tomatoes of the season.