Wednesday, September 2, 2009

For the Love of Summer

Living in Phoenix makes it tough to really love summer. It's so hot that when I'm out walking my dog at night, after dark, I desperately seek out a sprinkler to give us a little dowsing to cool off. OK, so that's only on days where it is above 110....So there's plenty, right?

Alas, living the seasonal lifestyle has made me actually really enjoy summer for something else...for it's bounty of fruits and vegetables. Lucky for our warm climate, it begins here sometime in March. Elsewhere, the farmer's markets and grocery stores who stock local and organic produce all have fabulous stuff in the midst of summer.

One of my favorite foods of all time is the tomato. This is in spite of most ordinary store-bought tomatoes being terrible. Now is the time to head out and buy something local, heirloom, vine ripened, or organic (or even grow your own--but it's too late now). What are you waiting for?! Seriously these things are phenominal. Try different colors, even. The sad thing is, I've been enjoying this bounty for several months now and have only just now decided to post in honor of the wonderful things. And I'm so sorry for any tomoato-haters out there, it's a pity and well.. I am not even sure I trust you. This is some of the best stuff anywhere, and a simple caprece salad is a wonderful showcase of the tomato's simplicity and deliciosity. (Yes, that can be a word.)

Tomato and Basil; best friends....Voila! Above a yellow tomato slice is topped with a chopped bit of fresh mozzarella and a snip of basil leaf. For the best mozzarella, make your own or buy the kind that comes in water . Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Optionally, balsamic vinegar is a fine touch. Yum. What a great summer snack and extremely easy to throw together.

Makes me temporarily forget about my least favorite weather...

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