Thursday, September 2, 2010

Summer in a Bowl

There are some things that can only be enjoyed during the summer. Corn on the cob. Fresh, sweet, juicy peaches that have been picked from the tree that day. Heirloom watermelons with sherbet orange flesh. And tomatoes. Real, vine-ripened tomatoes, still sun-warm when you bite into them. In my case, a rainbow of heirlooms, ranging from the tart and tangy green zebra to the mellow and sweet yellow "peach."

This dish is about summer. It's about the freshest ingredients, used at the height of ripeness--and almost no embellishment. And yet, somehow, with so little cooking and so few ingredients, it will be the best meal you eat all season. This is the dish you dream about in the darkest days of January, when the snow is falling, and summer seems like it will never come.

I came across this recipe in Moosewood Cooks at Home, one of my go-to cookbooks. It's so simple that you really don't need a recipe at all. Boil some pasta. Throw chopped super-fresh super-ripe tomatoes into a food processor. Add garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and a few fresh basil leaves into a food processor. Whirl it up until it's smooth. Chop up some extra tomatoes for garnish. Cube some fresh mozzarella cheese. Drain the pasta. Put it in a bowl. Toss it with the mozzarella while the pasta is still piping hot. This creates gooey strands of cheese throughout the dish. Toss with the pureed sauce and chopped tomatoes. Serve, preferably with some nice crusty bread, and maybe a light green salad. That's it. But, it's perfect. The season, captured in a bowl.

You can find the recipe here, or feel free to improvise. I have submitted this entry to Grow Your Own #45. Be sure to check out the round-up there, to see what other bloggers have made using produce from their own gardens and farms.


girlichef said...

Oh, yes! I agree with you 100%...I look forward to tomato season all year long. There is nothing like biting into a warm, ripe, juicy heirloom!! I can almost taste the dish from here...and I'm guessing I'll probably have to make it soon...I have just 3 varieties in my garden this year, but I know they'll do just fine in this gorgeous pasta =) Thanks so much for submitting this to GYO this month =)

7ravioli said...

Thanks for inspiration! I saw the picture of your meal exactly at the day, when I had some Farfalle leftowers,
and some tomatoes still in the greenhouse.
less colors, as no yellow tomatoes this year, but great anyway

Andrea Meyers said...

Yes, the fresh summer vine-ripened tomatoes are a summer treat! It's so much fun to pick one and eat it straight off the vine or use it fresh in a pasta dish like this, one my family would certainly enjoy. Thanks for joining us for Grow Your Own!

Dan said...

That looks like a great idea for a quick pasta salad dressing, espeically one that isn't made entirely of mayo.

I think I still have some basil left (if it hasn't frozen to dealy), so I should try that out.

Thanks for sharing!

Bonnie said...

I am always looking for new ways to use up my heirlooms. This looks great. Thanks for the inspiration. I will mourn the passing of my tomatoes soon.