IMHO, three of the best things about summer are these:
1. fresh, local, tiny, sugary, fragrant strawberries
2. fresh, local, plump, fragrant peaches and nectarines
3. fresh, local (like my garden!), tender, fragrant tomatoes.
Yes, you can get strawberries, peaches and tomatoes all year, but they don't taste like strawberries, peaches and tomatoes.
So feast now, while the feast lasts. This fruit is perfect, as-is, without anything. Not one of them needs sugar or salt or dressing or whipped cream. On the other hand -- if you have a hankering for more, try these:
3. This salad:
THREE TOMATO THREE PEPPER SALAD
- 4 cups halved mixed cherry or grape tomatoes, or cut up regular tomatoes
- 1/4 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
- 2 finely chopped scallions
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Cut up the tomatoes and place them in a bowl. Place the Sichuan peppercorns in an unoiled pan and cook over medium heat, shaking the pan often, for about 2 minutes, or until they are fragrant. Remove the pan from the heat and crush the peppercorns on a flat surface with a rolling pan or with the bottom of a glass or mug. Sprinkle the crushed Sichuan peppercorns over the tomatoes. Add the Aleppo pepper, scallions, mint and garlic and toss the ingredients. Whisk together the olive oil, wine vinegar and mustard and pour over the tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Toss ingredients. Let rest for about 15 minutes before serving.
Makes 4-6 servings