You say “tomato”? I say “yes, please!”
Nothing goes together like tomatoes and olives. Except maybe tomatoes and feta. And mozzarella. And basil. And cucumbers. And...okay, so a lot of things go great with tomatoes. And their season snuck up on me this year!
When we brought home our haul of the year’s first farm tomatoes I had planned on making a big batch of sauce. Then I remembered reading Molly Wizenberg’s recipe for slow-roasted tomatoes and instead spent my Sunday with those lovelies in the oven for six or seven hours at 200 degrees until it was absolutely time to leave for dinner at Mom and Dad’s. We ate them all week, as a side for cabbage and fennel tostadas, thrown into eggs with feta, sometimes just on their own straight out of the fridge. My favorite was tossing them into a bowl of whole wheat pasta with fresh mozzarella and homemade garden basil pesto.
Then last weekend, I brought together two of my favorite things: fresh summer tomatoes and a few of my beloved “olives.” Sal, Jessica, Nora, David, Malvina, Jon, and I probably hadn’t all been under one roof since our Hunter days in the Olivetree Review office something like seven (!?) years ago. We decided to together for conversation, games, and of course, food, in our new home.
In the morning, Jon went out to pick up our CSA while I prepped some vegetable kebabs. I threaded summer squash, zucchini, sweet bell peppers, Brooklyn Grange havasu hot peppers, and red onions on skewers and when Jon got home from the farm, he added the finishing touch of a big beautiful tomato to each one.
He made cool cucumber mojitos with our farm cukes and lime basil and we covered the table with food, from a cheese board with champagne grapes and chocolate covered almonds to pasta salad with cherry tomatoes, feta, and basil. Nora brought her knockout chickpea salad that I need to remember to start making weekly for work lunches. Later I roasted shrimp and we grilled chicken and veggie kebabs. Malvina whipped up tangy yogurt and labne dips with parsley and dill plucked from our grow bags. Jon served up his homemade falafel, hummus, and quick-pickled turnips. Sal and Jess made sure we had wines of every color represented!
Luckily for me, Nora thought of dessert, so we passed around her delicious vegan strawberry and vanilla meringues in between trips back to the table for seconds (and thirds) (and fourths). In the middle of the afternoon, we popped around the corner to check out a tiny church fair and I picked up yet another Queens pride tee because you can never have enough Queens pride tees. And later, for a beautiful end to the night, we walked Jess and Sal to the 7 train, talking about guilty pleasure music and literally singing in the rain. It was exceptional.