I'm a tomato snob. Once the last of the summer tomatoes disappear I just don't buy any until the first local beauties reappear in late June or July. You know what I'm talking about, don't you? Remember the first time you tasted a real tomato? Not one of those hard red-orange things stocked in the grocery store, but a warm bursting with juices honest to goodness tomato. It's the memory of the real thing that steels my resolve all winter and stops me from buying pretenders.
Lately though, Anna, of Produce Stories, has been nudging me to try the locally grown hydroponic tomatoes on offer at the Greenmarket and last week the temptation was just too much to resist. While they are not the juicy treasures of high summer, they're many cuts above the usual hard and tasteless offerings in the grocery stores this time of year.
Keeping it simple is always wise if you have good ingredients. For these little previews of summer we used basil from our kitchen window herb garden, some very fine mozzarella di bufala, and a loaf of sourdough from the neighborhood bakery. This recipe goes out to Abby at Eat the Right Stuff for her Vegetables, Beautiful Vegetables event.
2 real tomatoes, cut into wedges
1-2 garlic cloves, cut in half
mozzarella di bufala
1-2 tb olive oil
slices of good bread
salt and pepper
Place the bread slices on a baking sheet and toast them lightly under the broiler. Then turn the slices over and rub each one with the garlic. Lightly brush them with with olive oil and put them back under the broiler until just browned.
Lay a slice of mozzerella on each slice, and then one or two basil leaves, topping with a tomato wedge. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper, to taste.