Yum Peaceful Cooking: Fresh Tomato Salad

Friday, July 30, 2010

Fresh Tomato Salad

No matter what the signs say. No matter what the claims are. You will never find a tomato as fresh and beautiful as one picked from someone's backyard. The grocery stores can shout and scream "organic", "hot house", "local" all they want. It just doesn't even come close.

My dear sweet neighbor (a.k.a. surrogate grandmother) grows the best tomatoes every year (I chalk it up to her dedication to composting). Since I haven't been able to plant my own small garden for a few years now, she has been very generous with the vegetables she grows.

I believe what I have here are Black Pear Tomatoes. I think. What ever they are...they have thin skins that slice oh so easily. A good firm meatiness that keeps them together. And a flavor that is mild, light on the acid and almost sweet. Plus, they are just so beautiful.

Some of you may already know...this has been a trying week for me. I came home Monday night and discovered a letter from Maytag. I almost through it away. I get so tired of being asked if I want to extend or buy a warranty for my appliances. But something caught my eye...probably the word "RECALL"! Thought it would be a good idea to see what the issue was and with which appliance.

Unfortunately it was a serious issue.

With my dishwasher.

That couldn't be resolved for another week.

Are you kidding me? Don't you know that I cook daily? Don't you know that I rely heavily on my dishwasher? Don't you know how much I HATE washing dishes? You can't do this to me!!

I was not a happy camper when I was finished with that phone call.

I was even less happy when Sir Sportsalot instructed informed me that I would not be cooking like I normally do if the dishwasher was going to be out of commission.

Have I ever mentioned how often he ends up cleaning up after me?

I have not turned on the oven all week. I've only made one-dish meals. I even considered serving peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on paper towels for dinner one night. That way I'd only have to wash one knife, right?

Needless to say, I'm going through withdrawals. I need to make something GOOD! I need to get in that kitchen and make a huge mess and come out satisfied with a great big dinner.

Monday....and I would never have dreamt that I'd be saying this....can't come soon enough.

Meanwhile, I'm keeping it simple.

Real simple

So simple that this isn't even a recipe. It's just good.

Slice a nice fresh homegrown tomato.
Dice a fantastic avocado
Chop a sweet red onion

Sprinkle with freshly ground sea salt, freshly ground pepper medley (you know the one with black, white, red, green pepper corns). Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon or lime. Mix gently

Serve and experience the gentle combination thats refreshing, simple and satisfying. Sometimes I add a little cilantro or basil. Just to season it up. But often, it hits the spot just as it is. A perfect, unpretentious little salad.

This weekend though, I just might throw caution to wind and cook up a storm like a mad lady...getting every... single .....dish.....pot and pan dirty. That I own. I feel like a pressure cooker thats about to blow it's lid.

And it's not going to be pretty.

Do you think the dishwasher repair person will clean up the mess?


  1. sorry about that dishwasher, but I love that salad you made. I'm planning a similar one for tomorrow night.

  2. I'm certainly not sending you my DW repair guy. He didn't know a DW from a whole in the ground!

    I completely agree with you on the homegrown tomatoes. The ones in the store lack all sweetness and flavor!

    This looks delicious!

  3. Definitely bettr than store bought, actually, they have very little in common. For the second year in a row, I planted some San Marzano tomatoes, that have blessed me with basketfulls of delicious, sweet, red tomatoes. I even brought a whole bag with me on holiday.
    Salad sounds gorgeous, never thought of mixing avocado in a tomato salad, love the idea.

  4. My grandfather used to grow his own tomatoes, I haven't tasted any as nice since.

    Your salad looks delicious.

    Hope the dishwasher guy works his magic on Monday .... McDonalds until then!!!!!

  5. I agree homegrown tomatoes are the best! This salad looks terrific. You're lucky to have a neighbor that has such a prolific plant!

  6. You are so right about homegrown tomatoes! The first time that Michael and I went to a Farmer's Market this year we bought a few tomatoes and when Michael cut into one he couldn't believe his eyes...it was so read and juicy looking and he said that it tasted as good as it looked.

  7. I got a Maytag recall letter also; my service man said they're waiting for the part, that was more than a month ago. He told me not to worry about it as long as the heater element on the bottom was standing up OK with support brackets and not touching the floor of the dishwasher. Mine seems fine and I use it every day. Don't know if this is the same recall as yours but I'm guessing it is.

  8. I'm weird, I'd just as soon handwash dishes as use the dishwasher. It just seems to be as much work to load and unload as it is to just do it myself.

    Hopefully he gets it taken care of soon so you can cook up a mess:)

  9. Yikes. I don't even open up those letters, thinking they are all extended warranties.


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