Monday, August 15, 2011

Summer salad of Greenmarket heirloom tomatoes, radish, fresh basil and parsley, olive oil, lemon, and red onion

Saturday was a truly glorious day. I awoke at 8 am to the sun shining through my window and the weather pleasant enough to draw droves of New Yorkers outside for early morning strolls. I looked outside as the sun's line crept slowly through the city, heralding the day.

I decided that it was a perfect day to go visit the Union Square Greenmarket. I took the subway, which shot me down to the Union Square area like a bullet. Walking around the market was like being a kid in a candy store. The heirloom tomatoes were all in season; they were marvelous. There were tomatoes of all sizes and shapes and colors. Green, yellow, red, yellow-green, small, large, medium sized, enormous, tiny. I wanted to buy everything and more.

I ended up buying several beautiful heirloom tomatoes, a fresh bunch of basil enough to make enough pesto for several fat Italian mafioso, a few bottles of Greenmarket wine (both whites), some radishes, some cranberry beans, green peppers, and other fresh produce.

Tonight, after coming home from a long and exhausting day at work, the last thing I wanted to do was cook a long and involved dinner. I had been dreaming of the heirlooms all day and quickly opted for a light summer salad.

Summer salad of heirloom tomatoes

6 large heirloom tomatos, preferably from your local farmer's market
1 radish, sliced thin
1 small red onion, minced
1 tbspn lemon oil (or fresh lemon juice)
3 tbspn olive oil
2 tbspn parsley, finely chopped
2 tspn mint, finely chopped
2 tspn basil, finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Bring a large pot of water to a roaring boil. In the meantime, prepare an ice bath.
2. Using a small knife, cut a very shallow X pattern on the bottom part of each tomato (the part opposite the stem).
3. Skin the tomatoes as follows: When the water is at a roaring boil, dip each tomato in the water until the skin begins to break apart. Transfer with a strainer to the ice bath immediately. When the tomato cools, peel the skin carefully and let dry on paper towels. Repeat for each tomato.
4. Cut the dried tomatoes into sections about 1.5 inch cubes. Salt and pepper to taste.
5. While the tomatoes' flavors are developing from the salt and pepper, prepare the dressing. In a bowl, whisk together the oils, herbs, salt, pepper, lemon juice, onion, and radish.
6. To serve, place a few pieces of tomato on each of six serving plates. Add the dressing. Garnish with a sprig of parsley.

Serves 6.

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