Monday, July 14, 2014

Celebrate Summer's Bounty

 Do you grow your own vegetables?
While I'd love to keep a garden that looks like this (from the film Its Complicated),
The reality is I have a menagerie of front-porch potted varieties including
Meyer lemons, Serrano and jalapeno peppers,
standard and cherry tomatoes and basil galore!
While it may not be much, my tiny makeshift garden is mine,
and I love enjoying the fruits
of my labor! 
Though I could wax poetic on the vast differences between my sun-ripened tomatoes and store-bought varieties, I'll spare you the details and instead direct you to my newest favorite recipe.
Divine in its simplicity,
I'm positively obsessed with this seasonal treat:
Open-faced. Tomato. Sandwiches.
Need I say more?!
While I'm not even sure that I'm providing you with a recipe,
trust that I have nothing less than your very finest feasting interest in mind.
Here's how to do it:
First, toast a baguette or ciabatta bread
 (you're looking for a nice crisp crust and a lightly toasted interior)
*Note, if you're a garlic fan like I am, rub the bread with a clove of fresh garlic before toasting
Then, slice a garden fresh tomato and rinse a small handful of fresh basil leaves
 (if you don't grow tomatoes or basil, get some at your farmer's market!) 
*Note that technically any tomato or basil will work, but remember that we're after the utmost in freshness, and bland grocery store tomatoes and herbs simply will not do!
After your bread is well toasted, spread with a generous slathering of mayo
(think of this as the necessary creamy binding to bring your sandwich together),
then layer fresh basil leaves and slices of tomato, drizzle with a bit of olive oil and freshly ground pepper and coarse or flake sea salt.
There are so many variations on this basic recipe--equally as good with hearty slices of fresh mozzarella or substituting oven-roasted cherry tomatoes...the possibilities are endless!

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