I can be a pretty indecisive person. At least when it comes to questions about my favourite colour, song, etc. For me, answering these questions comes down to context. There is, however, one exception to my favourites list. You know that scenario, if trapped on a desert island and you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? Tomatoes. No question. And, hey, I wouldn’t need to worry about developing scurvy.
The deal-breaker in this decision lies in the versatility to tomatoes. There are so many varieties, flavours and textures in the tomato world which makes them conducive to being enjoyed fresh, dried, stewed, juiced– even rendered into tomato butter. Throughout the year I cook with tomatoes a lot and am probably most reliant on straight-up canned tomatoes from the pantry. If I preserve nothing else in the summer, I make a point to can tomatoes, which are great to have on hand for quick soups, sauces, curries, stews, and the list goes on…
At this time of year, though, there is nothing that replicates the flavour of a fresh picked tomato from the garden. I’m no tomato growing expert, but we seem to have had good luck in the past couple of years, and with an unusually long, hot summer in BC this year our crop is better (and earlier) than ever. Needless to say, we’ve been enjoying a lot of tomatoes from the garden lately.
This week we’ve been eating some variation of a tomato and corn salad every night (and sometimes for lunch too). We hosted a BBQ last weekend for our softball team’s end of season celebration and, having ambitiously purchased two dozen cobs of corn, we had some leftovers. This is a good thing though – the sweet corn from Rondriso Farms is possibly the best I’ve ever eaten, so we have had no problem eating it daily this week.
The recipe below was our “baseline” developed on Monday and serves as a guideline only. Throughout the week grilled zucchini and eggplant, green beans, avocado, and roasted cauliflower have all made appearances in this as well – another case of using up what’s in the fridge, which often leads to the best culinary discoveries. Feel free to substitute with whatever you have in your own garden or available at local markets.
Happy Tomato Season Everyone!
- 1-2 cobs of cooked sweet corn (grilled or boiled)
- A generous handful of fresh tomatoes, various varieties and sizes
- Additional veggies (grilled zucchini, eggplant, etc. – optional)
- A small handful of fresh basil and/or cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- A drizzle of balsamic reduction (or balsamic vinegar)
- Salt* and fresh ground pepper to taste
*Note: Good old sea salt is great here but, if you happen to have any specialty flavoured salts this is a perfect dish to highlight them. Their flavour can sometimes get lost in more complex dishes, but in simple ones like this (or just lightly sprinkled on sliced tomatoes) they really shine. In the salad pictured here we finished it with a light sprinkling of black truffle salt. Delicious!
Carefully, using a sharp knife, stand corn cobs on their ends and remove kernels by running the blade down the cob. To create a more stable surface for slicing you can break the cobs in half prior to cooking and stand them on their wide ends when slicing.
Slice tomatoes into roughly equal sized chunks. If you are using any cherry tomatoes, slice in half.
Place corn and tomatoes in a medium bowl with any additional veggies (if using) basil, olive oil, balsamic and a little salt and pepper. Toss gently. To serve, finish with a drizzle of balsamic reduction and sprinkling of specialty salt (if using – see note above).