It is just beginning to be tomato season here in the South, a very happy time for The Practical Cook. When vegetables are at the height of their deliciousness, it’s best to just get out of the way and let them star. In late July and August, no self-respecting Sunday dinner table will be without sliced tomatoes. And don’t get me started on the joys of a tomato sandwich with mayo.
Tomatoes are one of those divisive foods. Rest assured, Gentle Readers, if you have eaten with The Practical Cook, she knows where you stand on the tomato goop issue. They create a lot of texture issues for people.
In an age where heirloom tomatoes are making a comeback, I encourage you to give them another try. There are less goopy ones, grape ones, green ones, etc.
If you find yourself with some ripe tomatoes, here’s my recommendation for serving, the inspiration taken from Bill Smith’s transcendent heirloom tomato plate at Crook’s Corner. If you have the chance, order it. No matter where I get my tomatoes, his tomato plate is always just a little bit better.
a few very ripe tomatoes, heirlooms and varietals encouraged
freshly ground black pepper
1. Wash and pat the tomatoes dry. Slice them using a very sharp knife and place them artfully on a plate
2. Chiffonade some basil (that’s fancy for cut in small strips). **I didn’t have any for this photo shoot. Forgive me.
3. Sprinkle the basil, a healthy sprinkle of your crunchiest sea salt, and a grind or two of black pepper on the tomatoes. Drizzle with a touch of olive oil. Serve with a dab of mayo on the side.
White bread is optional, but encouraged for the tomato goop fans, of which I am one. Welcome to summer in the South.
Where do you stand in the great tomato debate? Post your vote today!
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Up tomorrow, The Non-Boring Vegetarian Friendly Cookout Solution.