My patio tomatoes are doing well, as is my basil plant, so I have been harvesting a lot of each.
When I made this photograph of one of my plants, my man said I should post it with my salad recipe, which he thinks is mighty yummy.
Pairing this with some fresh French bread or crusty artisan bread and a batch of Israeli couscous containing red onions and bell peppers is a nice light summer supper.
It’s not quite officially summer, but here in Tucson where it’s hot, it already is, for all intents and purposes.
Martha’s Tomato, Basil & Cucumber Salad:
6 or 7 small tomatoes – cut in half, then each half cut into thirds. Use home-grown, if possible for the richest flavor. Any small variety is fine. If you have to buy them, get Romas, as they are the firmest and will stay intact)
1/3 of a large red onion – sliced julienne
1 cucumber – peeled, sliced in half lengthwise, then sliced into ¼” or slightly thinner pieces
About 10 fresh basil leaves – rinsed and chopped
Salt to taste – start with 1/8 tsp.
Freshly cracked black pepper
A splash of extra virgin olive oil
3-4 Tbsp. white vinegar
about a dozen pitted Kalamata olives (I personally think the recipe is best with this, but if you aren’t an olive fan it’s good without it too)
Also optional, if you want to add a protein: a handful of pecans
– or almonds, which have been soaked in water for 8 hrs. or more to soften them, then cut in half lengthwise
Add all ingredients in a bowl and fold over carefully to mix without damaging the tomatoes.
Make this in the morning and let the flavors meld all day, covered in the refrigerator, for the fullest flavor.
Before serving, taste to see if more salt or pepper is needed.
Serve with slotted spoon, so the vinegar marinade is drained off a bit.
Use of photo requires licensing from Martha Lochert