Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Classic Tomato Basil Salad

I still recall the taste of my first tomato basil salad, made with a fresh picked, sun warmed New Jersey tomato and aromatic basil from the same garden patch. There is no better way to enjoy a fully ripe perfect tomato, ideally eaten in a shady spot in a lush green back yard. Add high humidity and the trilling of hundreds of locusts, and you have the quintessential late summer tomato moment.

Preparation couldn't be simpler: Slice one large very ripe sun warmed (or at least room temperature) tomato and arrange on a plate. Chiffonade five or six fresh basil leaves and sprinkle them over tomato slices. Drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil, a little rice wine vinegar, and a pinch of sea salt. The intermittent rumble of distant thunder goes well with this too.