Monday, April 9, 2012

This Beautiful Tomato Salad Is Fantastic!

Well hello, it's Monday again.  Again!  Where is the week going?  How does Monday roll around so fast?  Is it because our lives are so busy or because it's my age?  Everyone always said the older you get the faster time seems to go.  I don't think I really want to know the answer to this question.  When and how did we have time to go to work and raise a family?  Retirement may be the busiest season of our lives.  It really is a conundrum.

I didn't even have time to post much last week because of all the preparations for the Easter weekend.  I hope yours was fabulous!  Ours certainly was.  We had a big Easter egg hunt for the grandsons on Sunday and dinner afterwards.  We had an absolute ball watching all the little guys running around our big yard looking for all the things hidden there for them.  Our two year old grandson was breaking open the plastic eggs as fast as he found them spilling contents all over the ground.  He bit into a chocolate rabbit foil wrapper and all.  It was hilarious.  The weather was absolutely perfect and it was one of the most splendid days I can remember.

After several hours of outdoor fun, we were finally able to wrangle all the boys inside for lunch.  I have to say, lunch was also memorable.  There were some golden oldies on the menu and several new recipes which will all be keepers!

On Saturday, we made a trip to the Farmer's Market to see what delectable fare they had to offer and they did not disappoint!  There was so much great produce that had just arrived from Florida and it was hard to resist buying some of everything.  What I did purchase were fresh green beans,  potatoes, green tomatoes for frying, grape tomatoes, and fresh corn that was absolutely divine.  The variety was called peaches and cream and oh my, it was so good.  I will post about that later in the week.

Today, I want to tell you about this awesome rustic tomato salad that is a Jamie Oliver recipe and my new favorite way to eat tomatoes.  Wow, it's good and oh so easy.  The grape tomatoes were sweet and juicy and fantastic.  If you grow little tomatoes in the summer, this will be a perfect way to eat them!

Here is what you need:

2 pints of grape tomatoes (original recipe calls for cherry tomatoes, but these were perfect)
your favorite olives (I used kalamata olives - yum)
some red wine vinegar
olive oil
fresh basil

This is how you make the salad.

Put the tomatoes in a bowl and kind of squish them with your hand to rupture some of them.  If your olives have pits, press them with your thumb on a cutting board and remove the pits.  If they are pitted, squeeze them with your hand to rupture them.  No chopping, very rustic.  You need about 1/2 a cup of olives, more if you want.  Sprinkle the tomatoes and olives with some red wine vinegar.  Sprinkle some olive oil over the tomatoes and olives, enough to lightly coat.   Tear about a hand full of basil leaves and add to tomatoes and olives.  Mix lightly until everything is coated with olive oil.  The original recipe calls for arugula also.  I didn't have any, so I skipped it and I don't think it made one bit of difference.  This salad was fantastic!  This is now my new favorite way to eat grape tomatoes and we will be having this salad again and again.  You could also add some chunks of fresh mozzarella if you wanted.

This salad is also visually appealing.  The colors are beautiful and makes you want to dive right in.  Writing about it makes me want to run to the kitchen and eat a bowl full right now - yeah, it's that good.

I hope you will try this salad because I think you will like it as much as we did.  It is easy, beautiful and delicious.  There is sweetness from the tomatoes and basil, and a little tanginess and saltiness from the red wine vinegar and olives with the finish of that lovely olive oil.  It is a perfect side for just about any meal.   What more could you ask for?

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

When everyone was leaving after all the fun, our 5 year old grandson said thanks Grandma and Pawpaw, it was the best Easter of my life!  Now, how sweet is that?  Makes all the work well worth the effort.   We sure love those little guys.

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