There are many things I love about summer: vacations, flip-flops, the beach, ice cream and … tomatoes. I LOVE tomatoes. But not those hard, apple-like tomatoes most grocery stores sell. But succulent, tender tomatoes fresh-picked from the garden are the kind I crave. My Mom always plants plenty of tomatoes, but sadly I live too far away to enjoy the bounty … normally. But not this year.
I decided to take a spur of the moment trip back home last week, hence my absence. Normally, I’m not very impulsive and definitely not someone who takes a vacation on a whim. But my parents had mentioned that they were having a small get-together to celebrate my Dad’s birthday and Andy (my nephew) leaving for college and it just felt like I needed to be there. And I had enough miles from my corporate days to cover my airfare. Woo-hoo! Minnesota, here I come.
And in typical Minnesota fashion, it was hot, rainy and cool — all in seven days. Actually it was pretty fun to experience lightning and thunder again. It very rarely thunders in California. I’ve lived here 10 years and maybe heard thunder, five times?
I also came home with a few goodies from my mom’s garden: zucchini, beets, onions and tomatoes. Oh my. My mom’s tomatoes were terrible teases, plentiful but mostly green. My mom kindly gave me all her ripe ones. And I ate every single one. 🙂 In the next week or two, the rest will be red and juicy and I’ll be a 1000 miles away.
Grrrrr …. Rude tomatoes.
A couple of the tomatoes went to this amazing caprese salad. I love caprese salads for their simplicity and great taste. But I also wanted to mix it up a bit and added some juicy peaches to add another flavor component. It may seem like an odd combination but it works so well.
And that beautiful basil? That’s mine. Yup, I bought a basil plant about a month ago and I have not killed it yet. It even survived my week away, although it needs some TLC. Let’s hope I don’t love it to death. And … let’s not talk about the impatiens I bought in May. Let’s pretend those never existed. Because they don’t. Exist. Anymore. I don’t want to talk about it. Let’s focus on the positive, people. Like this … to-die-for salad. Light and delicious, it is the perfect late summer salad, and one I plan to make every summer, again and again.