Thursday, July 1, 2010

Heaven in a Bowl (If you Like Tomatoes)

I once dated a guy who hated tomatoes so much that if they came with a meal he had ordered in a restaurant he would evacuate them from his plate as if they were bombs about to explode at any second. Me? I like tomatoes. Let me clarify though for those of you who have seen me order things sans tomatoes. I don’t like tomatoes on my sandwiches, they make it all soggy. I guess I’m a big peculiar too. But, there is a time and a place for tomatoes and one of those places is salad.

So far each week I have received a little carton of grape tomatoes with my farm share, which I love. Grape tomatoes are the best because you can throw them into soup, add them to salad, or really do anything you want with them. For lunch I decided to whip up something quick and tasty using these tomatoes. About a month ago I bought a little potted basil plant at Whole Foods and since that time the thing has grown into a monster -- it’s taking over my apartment, really. I figured it was time to give it a little trim-down and finally put some of those leaves to good use.

I really enjoy caprese salads so it though I would make my own Jill-ized version using things I already had on hand in my apartment/fridge. The result was absolutely amazing, and healthy, too! True to form I abided by one of my cooking mantras: “Everything is better with cheese.” (Going Vegan sounds like the worst thing ever to me, EVER… I don’t know how those people do it! Cheese is just TOO good.)

When making your own version of this salad I highly suggest that you invest in a high-quality vinaigrette, it really makes a big difference. I found this delicious “Roasted Hazelnut & Extra Virgin” vinaigrette at Whole Foods from Lucini of Italy. It was absolutely great in this recipe and I’m quite excited to try out a few more of the flavors that they offer.

This salad was the perfect accompaniment to an 85 degree afternoon and the 10 seconds I had to eat before class. Ah, summer.

Overall score: 10 out of 10


Tomato, Basil, Goat Cheese and Vinaigrette Salad

Ingredients –
Handful of grape tomatoes
A couple of spoonfuls of goat cheese crumbles
5-8 fresh basil leaves sliced up into little pieces
A few dashes of vinaigrette dressing

Directions –
Mix together in a bowl and enjoy!

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