August is the month that feels most like summer to me, when days melt lazily into each other and the sun feels that much warmer. It’s the perfect time to unplug. When we lived in the Midwest, my kids would start the new school year in early August, which never failed to feel strangely out of step – it was always September when I was growing up. This year it felt nice to push our vacation into that last full month of summer.
We spent a few weeks on the coast of Rhode Island; almost every day was so clear and beautiful, each sunset outdoing the last. I didn’t want it to end. Nothing makes me happier than looking at the ocean all day, and planning dinner around produce from the local farmstand – at this point in the summer that would be tomatoes, sweet corn, blueberries…and more tomatoes.
The cherry tomatoes I found at the market the other day were hard to resist, in a rainbow of colors. Usually my daughter eats them up by the handful straight out of the pint basket, as if they were the cherries they’re named after. Before they disappeared, I got the idea to make a cooked and raw salad, to get a little bit of the intensity I love about roasted tomatoes along with the burst of juicy freshness from uncooked ones.
Now we’re back home, enjoying a few more days until the fall routine begins.
And I’m absolutely thrilled to share some great news — the folks at Da Vinci Wine have announced the 2014 Storytellers – and I am one!
I will be traveling to Tuscany in a few weeks (I can’t believe I just said that…!) and will have lots to share before, during and after this great adventure. Stay tuned.
Soft, sweet roasted tomatoes and juicy fresh raw tomatoes make a pleasant contrast of flavors and textures in this salad. This would be great as a topping for pasta too. White balsamic has a light, subtle flavor I prefer over regular balsamic, which could overwhelm this simplicity of the tomatoes. Lemon juice makes a good substitute.
- 3 pints cherry tomatoes, in assorted colors; halved
- 1 garlic clove, smashed, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar or fresh lemon juice
- A few handfuls fresh arugula and torn basil leaves
- Sliced burrata or buffalo mozzarella
- Heat oven to 425 degrees.
- Toss 2 pints of the tomatoes in a shallow baking dish with the garlic and olive oil; season with salt to taste.
- Roast tomatoes until they become shriveled and softened, 20 - 25 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
- Transfer the tomatoes along with all the juices in the baking dish to a serving bowl.
- Stir in the remaining raw tomatoes; sprinkle with the sugar and vinegar and gently combine.
- Serve tomatoes on a plate over the arugula, basil and sliced mozzarella (burrata or buffalo mozzarella is especially creamy and delicious).