The pomodori are here; tomatoes come in all shapes and varieties, and although ‘heirloom’ tomatoes aren’t that prevalent in Italy, we have pacchini (itsy bitsy), ciliegi (cherry), San Marzano, (plum) and plain old pomodoro (round, red, salad tomatoes).
Last night the spirit moved us to play with our tomato bounty. Although we did start the meal with a plate of fried zucchini blossoms, just because we hadn’t eaten them in a day or two and I was missing them. I’m starting to wonder if my skin will start to take on a saffron yellow cast from eating all these flowers.
Then it was on to some gazpacho. There was a center core of olives, capers, garlic, cucumbers, red peppers, incendiary Sicilian green peppers, and sweet red onion, all tied together with a bit of basil oil. The basil oil acts like the rug in The Big Libowski, it just tied the dish together.
Lauren reminded me of a dish that we created last summer, and that I loved, but had forgotten about: stuffed roasted cherry tomatoes over pasta. Last summer we stuffed them with breadcrumbs, parmigiana, parsley and garlic. This variation was mozzarella, basil, parmigiana and a little bit of basil. It was a bit like a roasted caparese salad, and we served it over some of that 5-nut pesto sauce. It was like a plate of summer in the bowl.
Finished off with some peaches that dripped down your chin, it was a near perfect meal. Had it been 20 degrees cooler in the kitchen, it would have been a perfect meal!
At least someone’s having a summer! I’m huddled up in jeans and a sweater over here on the left coast, worried that my tomatoes will never come on after four days of rain! I found local ones at the market, but they’re mealy and don’t have much flavor. I ask you,what good is summer without a tomato???