I don’t know about you guys, but in this summer heat, I have trouble making proper meals. Anything that requires a hot stove top — or worse — a long bake time in the oven, is just out of the question on these sweltering days. More days than not, you can find me with a piece of toast, a swipe of pesto, cubed mozzarella and sliced tomatoes fresh from the farmer’s market. The summer tomatoes have been delicious, and I think they figure into 5 out of the 7 days of my week. (Sorry, bell pepper. You will be missed.)
I recently made this one-pot pasta with cherry tomatoes but didn’t like the idea of nuking something that’s so amazing when eaten fresh. So I thought I’d collect a few recipes — in the vein of this avocado post — to share with you some easy and tasty ways to make use of summer’s greatest bounty. Specials thanks to our new balcony basil plant. I couldn’t have done it without you.
Peach + tomato + mozzarella. Could there be a more divine summer combination? Bonus points for the minimal cooking time; besides baking the baguette, these crostinis are more about assembly than cooking. The recipe called for balsamic, but since I’m the one person in the world that hates balsalmic, I used extra olive oil and black pepper instead.
I’m pretty sure this is the ideal BBQ accompaniment. After heavy burgers and hot dogs, this tomato and crouton salad is light, fresh and juicy. That, and I love the contrast of crunchy bread and squishy halved tomatoes.
The peach and tomato crostinis were my favorite of the three, but this Mediterranean baked feta wins the Most Fun award. It’s like a party dip but with more interesting flavors and that salty, tangy delight known as feta cheese. (We ate ours with multi-grain pita chips.) True, the whole dish gets baked but for only 15 minutes — just enough time for the feta to soften and the onions to caramelize a bit. We were out of parsley and dried oregano, so I used slivered basil and a dash of Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute instead. Love this one for a dinner party appetizer. It looks really impressive but is supremely easy to make.
How are you using tomatoes this summer? Do share!