Monday, September 8, 2014

Savoring Summer

Even though we've had some rainy days with air so thick and humid you could cut it, our warm summer days are expiring quickly and I must enjoy every last minute of it! Looking at the 10 day forecast we're going from 82 degree days to highs of 60. I better move quick! The other day at the grocery store I saw gorgeous heirloom cherry tomatoes and knew exactly what I wanted to do with them.
It's taken me several years but I truly enjoy tomatoes now. I can happily pop a whole cherry tomato in my mouth but prefer them with a light sprinkle of real salt...none of that iodized table that for baking. I grabbed fresh basil and a mini baguette with rosemary and garlic. The original looked good too but why not elevate the goodness?
Anyways, I decided a fresh tomato "bruschetta" was what's for dinner. Since Sean had hockey I was on my own for dinner and therefore didn't need to serve meat! I sliced and toasted the baguette (enter the fancy word crostini) and marinated the tomatoes for a few minutes in extra virgin olive oil, salt, freshly ground black pepper, red pepper flakes, a splash of white balsamic vinegar, and chopped basil.
Oh my goodness...I'm telling you, nothing tastes fresher or more like summer than this bright and simple dish. It's ridiculously easy and looks beautiful for entertaining. Serve them on a white platter to bring out the colors of the tomatoes and let the food shine.
Drizzle the extra liquid that collects in the bowl (from the vinegar, oil, and water from the tomatoes) over the tops of the crostini for extra flavor, don't leave that behind!
Alternatively you can finish with a little infused olive oil for great flavor!
I just received this thoughtful letter and sample of basil olive oil from one of my favorite vineyards in Napa, Round Pond, (see below from my Napa post) and it was so delicious! It definitely enhanced the basil flavor and added additional depth to the dish. Thanks Round Pond!!

The dog days of summer...sad to see it go but can't wait for the crispness of fall. Bring on the pumpkin spice lattes! :)

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