Wednesday, August 11

italian tomato salad

Living on the opposite side of the country from my family has been a difficult thing for me to get used to.  I miss the days of popping in at my sister's unexpectedly for coffee (although I'm sure my brother-in-law appreciates the space) and having supper with the family every Sunday night.  Cooking has been a way to reconnect with my family from 2200 miles away, and always makes me feel closer to them, like I'm not missing out on everything.  It helps too, that every conversation, whether with my dad, brothers, sisters or mom, usually winds up being about food; what new recipe we've discovered, and the old ones we love to revisit.

This tomato salad is the essence of summer to me.  It transcends time and brings me back to my grandma's kitchen as a little girl with her cooking away in her dirty little apron, and grandpa bringing fresh vegetables in from the garden.  The smell of basil and garlic gets me every time.


5-6 ripened organic tomatoes (I promise, they taste so much better), chopped into bite size pieces

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

3-4 basil leaves, shredded or chopped

Sea salt, to taste

2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

*optional -1 small hot pepper, thinly sliced


Place all ingredients in bowl.  Add salt and drizzle with olive oil.  Mix until a juicy consistency has been reached.

Can be served at room temperature or chilled.  I only insist that you eat this salad with a loaf (not the entire thing, like me) of really fresh bread.  Today I used pane bello, a dense, rustic italian bread that could withstand the inevitable sogginess.

1 comment:

  1. Sweet post, Amy. You are greatly missed but I love the notion that food is so intrinsically tied into memories for you! And for the record, the aroma of fresh basil and garlic simmering makes me think of grandma and grandpa too; particularly their home in the bay area. I was so young and yet I somehow can vividly recall that kitchen with the extending back-porch. And the two of them sure did know how to plant a mean garden!

    Maybe someday you'll be back home craftin' and cookin' with your sis, but in the meantime it's sweet picturing you hunched over the stove like your grams always was! And what a real woman she was because she'd even leave her heels on!