Monday, September 03, 2007

OLS10: tardy!

How could I be late for the last One Local Summer post? I had some very good reasons (the main one being the excitement of a visit from one grandson), but as I tell my students: I don't want to hear your excuses. (My reasoning being that I don't want to have to decide if someone's grandmother really died; and anyway, I always give extensions.)

But here, late, is my last OLS meal:
OLS 10 Menu
Pasta with Sauteed Vegetables
(local noodles, peppers and onions from the market, kale and herbs from the garden)

Mixed Tomatoes with Honey and Olive Oil (garden tomatoes, market honey, nonlocal olive oil)

Cucumber Salad (D's father's cucumbers with my herbs, a little local vinegar)

Chocolate Ice Cream (from Honey Hut, our favorite local ice cream maker since the '70s)

This was a meal notable for its simplicity and ease: vegetables chopped and sauteed to a sputter, then thrown together with the pasta, or mixed with their oil or vinegar baths. My favorite part of it is also my #1 favorite salad of the summer, which I've eaten several dozen times, at both lunch and dinner--the tomato salad. I never thought before this year to add honey to tomatoes, and I'm not sure why I did the first time, except that I was feeling experimental. But the fact is that honey and olive oil (sometimes with a squeeze of lemon or lime, sometimes not) is ambrosial. Here's a loose recipe.

Ambrosial Tomato Salad
Several mixed tomatoes--whatever you have in your garden or market basket
A good olive oil; I used about a teaspoon per cup of tomatoes
A squeeze or 2 of honey
A pinch or 2 of salt, to taste
Whatever herbs need pruning in the garden: I've used dill, basil, mint, cilantro, and sometimes a combination, depending on the day. My favorite combination was mint and opal basil.
Chop the tomatoes; if you're using cherry tomatoes in the mix, cut them in half so that they absorb the flavors. Sprinkle with salt and let sit while you gather your herbs (the salt draws out the tomato juices, which in this case, you don't want to discard, but savor). Add olive oil and honey and the chopped or torn herbs. Eat immediately, preferably outside on a day of the perfect temperature (for me that would be a nonhumid 82).