There are some aspects of summer that we wait patiently all year to enjoy. Some wait for the sun and a tan, others wait for the rolling waves at the beach. You know what I wait for? Heirloom tomatoes. Heirlooms are not just your ordinary tomato. They are a wide range of colors and sizes and pack a delicious sweet, yet acidic punch of flavor.
Yesterday I stopped at the Union Square Green Market to peek around at all the fresh produce. When I go there, I always feel like a kid in a candy store because everything just looks so tasty. What could be better than herbs freshly picked in the morning and put into your lunch in the afternoon? I happened upon a little tent selling loads of little heirloom tomatoes. Each small carton was 4 dollars. The carton was chock full of little red guys, large orange guys, stripy green guys and other variations. 4 bucks for that bucket of goodness? Absolutely.
I continued on walking and found a tent that had massive bunches of basil for only 3 dollars. Curse D’agastinos super market for selling a tiny stem of basil for 3.99. I bought the bunch of fresh basil and walk-runned home. I was so excited to eat my new buys that I had to keep myself from sprinting like a wild woman all the way up Park ave.
As soon as I arrived home, I began to concoct. Tomatoes washed and sliced. Basil washed and diced. Everyone into a bowl. I then added equal parts olive oil and lemon juice. I know that some people really load up on the olive oil here, but the tomatoes are so juicy that you really don’t need too much of it. The lemon juice brings out the acidity of the tomatoes, so a good squeeze will do. I added some thyme also because Whitney tells me that it goes well with everything- so far she’s right. Don’t forget salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste!
Voila that’s it! I had myself a delicious tomato salad. I instantly wished that I had bought more cartons because I just knew that this bowl of freshness would be devoured within the hour. As Whitney and I snacked on the salad, I brainstormed other ideas for how to eat these amazing tomatoes. First I toasted a piece of wheat toast and topped it with the salad. Yum! When the toast was gone, I dipped in some garlic crustinis. And then, the salad was finished. It was honestly as sad as losing hard earned cash, or hearing that your parents are “disappointed” in you. My heart sank. There were so many things I wanted to do with that salad. I could’ve put some in a sauce pan and tossed in some fresh pasta for an Italian dinner. I could’ve had it with my eggs tomorrow morning.
But alas, that is the sad truth about delights like this salad, they get eaten. I really hope you all take a trip to the Green Market if you’re in New York. It’s a unique experience bopping in and out of tents filled with fresh produce, bumping into people with bags of bread and cheese, and getting a little sample from the wine tent. If you somehow miss eating delicious heirloom tomatoes this season, don’t be too upset. While summer is fleeting, good food is not. There is always some new produce for next season to try and I’m sure it will be equally as exciting to work with, and equally as delicious to taste.