My favorite food item in the summer is tomatoes. Sweet, acidic, herbaceous...it all comes together in this amazing intersection of flavor and familiarity.
Perfectly ripened, locally grown tomatoes are hard to beat. For me, they rival a river of chocolate chip cookies or a buffett of ice cream. My level of enjoyment for tomatoes is that high. I love the first Sweet 100's, Purple Cherokees, Mr. Stripey's, and Bradley's of the season.
Summer is an exciting time, In the air is a feeling of ease, life is a bit slower. I believe there are more moments that draw us to the table. And there we can hopefully become more in tune with what both the season and land is offering us.
I like picking tomatoes that are fragrant, feel dense in your hand, but have a bit of give to the touch. Because of their delicate nature, I don't like to inflect too much change to the tomato: a simple circular slice, reserving the ends to juice (tomato water works great in vinaigrettes).
I believe, like most human beings, that a great loaf of bread will make a meal or afternoon snack exponentially more delicious. It is my hope that if you are ever in need of a great loaf, you will seek out a local bakery with bakers who are passionate about bread.
Tomatoes and Bread
1 Heirloom Tomato
2 Slices of Sourdough Bread
1 Sprig of Thyme
1 Garlic Clove
1 Sprig of Basil
1/2 Lemon (zested and juiced)
2 T Ricotta
1 t Olive Oil
1 t Sherry Vinegar
Salt & Pepper
Light a gas grill to medium heat. Set your thyme on the second level of the grill to dry out.
Brush a light coating of Olive oil on your bread and toast each side for about 2 minutes. Rub with clove of garlic and season with salt.
Slice your tomato into 1/2 inch thick slices and season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
Season your ricotta with sherry vinegar, olive oil, thyme, salt, and pepper.
Assemble the toast by spreading your ricotta on the toast first. You will then place your seasoned tomatoes atop the ricotta and garnish with the torn basil.
I recommend enjoying this recipe on a back porch with a glass of rosé.