Monday, October 23, 2006

Salad Days

Tomato days have finally ended, and the end of summer goes with. The best thing about a tomato garden steps from my front door is obviously the ease of which I can incorporate this tangy tempting fruit into my everyday eating. Want to scramble some diced tomato in my eggs? Just step outside. Grill a few with dinner? Right there. A quick rinse, and these babies are good to go.

Sadly, as the evenings draw up closer and a chill creeps into the air, the plants slow on their supply, the fruit ripening and dropping quickly as if in a rush to bed down for the winter. In honour of the last days of these delicious additions to my summer consumption, I'll share with you my favourite tomato recipe.

There are endless recipes that incorporate the humble tomato, and many many varieties of tomato to compliment said recipes. For simplicity's sake we'll use the tomato that's most commonly found in my kitchen- the unassuming cherry tomato. A little smaller and sweeter than most tomatoes, I like their quiet, simple attitude.

These tomatoes in particular are superb for canning and sauces, especially when paired with a slightly spicy (instead of just garlic) flavour, such as roasted chili oil. In this case however, we're skipping the oils, the buffalo mozzarella, the hours of stewing and saucing. This recipe will be ready in mere moments, and it's without a doubt the best way to eat a tomato off the vine.


3-4 small tomatoes, freshly picked

Halve the tomatoes, and arrange on a plate. Sprinkle liberally with salt. Add the merest dash of pepper.

That's it. Salt and pepper on tomatoes. Many times the pepper is even optional, I use it more for an eye-pleasing technique than actual flavour. The salt brings out the sweet burst of tomato goodness, a taste that plays like a child in your mouth. A snack of tomatoes is such a refreshing pick-me-up, something that always makes me smile. I'm sure that come next year, when the red globes begin to ripen once more (and possibly even before-fried green tomatoes, anyone?) I'll be cracking open my cookbooks to find extensive use for them. For now though, I'm quite content with this very simple, yet utterly fulfilling treat.

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