It started in June, but it seems about every cooking magazine has been focusing on Tomatoes. It’s only natural given how great they are during the summer, but here in the South I feel the Tomato is held in special reverence.
Maybe it’s because everyone around us is raising them (no matter how little space they have) or maybe it’s because every farmer’s market is filled with beautiful heirloom varieties with unique names and colors. Certainly our Southern pride runs deep and there is little better than a tomato fresh from the vine. The explosion of flavor is summer incarnate.
Because our local tomatoes are so great and because we are here in the South, I’m going to jump on the bandwagon for those few left who may not have seen a food magazine in the last 60 days. The recipe today is as simple as the ingredients are fresh, we have been devouring these at the house.
• Oregano (or other herbs like Basil)
• Feta (or other cheeses like Asiago)
• Artisanal bread
• Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Start with of course fresh tomatoes, slice them in about 1/4 to 1/3 inch slices, toast the bread lightly, you want it to be able to soak up some olive oil but not be ‘crunchy’. Brush the toasted bread slices with olive oil, place tomato slices on bread and sprinkle with cheese, put the open faced bread/tomato/cheese under a broiler or in a toaster oven long enough to begin to soften the cheese and warm the tomato.
Remove from the oven and cover with torn herbs, the Oregano/ Feta ends up being more Greek, and the Basil/Asiago more Italian, but it’s all delicious. Try other combinations of cheese and herbs to make your own flavors.
Stronger and saltier cheeses make a great compliment to the fresh tomato. Other combinations might include Brie/Fennel, Aged Cheddar/Mint or Manchego/Parsley.
Till next month