I know I’ve posted this recipe before, but with summer just around the corner, I thought I’d bring it up again! Tomatoes & basil is pretty much the yummiest combination ever, if I do say so myself, & the addition of sweet onion creates a party in your mouth. For a real treat, throw in some true fresh mozzarella, & you’re basically set for life.
I hadn’t actually planned to make this, it being April & all (aka, the tomatoes are generally still lifeless), but my local farm market had three things last weekend: these sweet candy onions (pictured below), absolutely gorgeous fresh basil, & the reddest little tomatoes I’ve seen since October. I kid you not, I did a little celebration dance right there in the market. YAY! I knew exactly what I was making on Sunday!
Normally I try to eat things mostly in season, but I made an exception for these. I dare not think where they came from, or how they came to be so red & juicy in April, but I’ll tell you what – I savored every morsel. Oh, it’s so, so good. & so versatile! But I’m getting ahead of myself. The recipe for this salad is basic, but I’ll write it out anyways for those who need the exact directions…
Classic Tomato & Basil Salad
What you need:
- Good, ripe tomatoes (I used small-ish ones; feel free to use any variety)
- Onions (if you can’t find the delectable candy sweet ones, go for red)
- Fresh basil
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Salt & pepper
How to do it:
- Cut tomatoes into chunks. Because I used small ones, I simply quartered them, but when I use tiny grape tomatoes, I simply halve them. Toss some salt on them to bring out the flavor. Dice up your onions, & chop up the basil. Throw these three ingredients into a bowl (if you’re also adding mozzarella, go ahead & toss it in too).
- Drizzle on olive oil & balsamic; even to evenly coat everything. If you feel so inclined, add some Italian dressing.
- Add some fresh ground pepper, mix altogether, & voila! A super simple salad you can enjoy all summer long.
I mentioned the versatility of this mixture, & here are some ways I’ve used it…
- On its own as a side salad
- Thrown on top of salad greens & chicken for an entree salad
- Blended into a quick fresh sauce for pizza
- If using big slices of tomato, as toppings for pizza – just throw on some fresh blobs of mozzarella, & you’re good to go!
- Mixed with pasta or spaghetti squash for an easy dish
- Spooned over chicken breast before baking
- Mixed into a Big Bowl of Awesome a few moments before removing from heat
- Served atop toast (gluten-free or otherwise) for quick crostini
Anyone have other ideas? Let me know how you’ll enjoy this in the coming months!