A Tomato Basil Dressing for Everything
Making the most of tomato season
At long last, we’ve hit Peak Tomato. As any real greenmarket-head knows, this is what it’s all about: rows and rows of sungolds, green zebras, Jersey beefsteaks, and midnight Romas, all looking for a new home in a caprese salad. Sure, a full tote bag of heirlooms will cost you, but summertime rituals are hard to come by in New York; it’s tomatoes or the Rockaways.
There’s no shortage of delicious things to do with the world’s most perfect vegetable — if you ask me, the best way to prepare it is with bread, mayo, and salt — and I’ll assuredly be writing about many of them in the next few newsletters. This week, I’m spotlighting a recipe that can be used in many other recipes: a tomato basil vinaigrette. Tomatoes and basil are natural companions — as the saying goes, if they grow together, they go together — and the two make up a great summer dressing.
You can use this all sorts of ways: in a corn salad with feta and cucumbers, on a BLT, even as a marinade or sauce for grilled chicken or fish. I think it works best in my favorite summer salad of all: a rustic panzanella, the recipe for which is included below. Tomatoes, cucumbers, roasted sourdough croutons and torn chunks of fresh mozzarella all commingle in the vinaigrette, with ample basil throughout. It’s something you could happily eat every day until October.
Tomato Basil Vinaigrette
A dozen cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
Small handful of fresh basil leaves, washed and dried