They say amniotic fluid has flavor---that babies can taste what their mothers eat, and develop food preferences in utero. If that's true, this baby is going to have quite a thing for tomatoes.
I've been eating tomatoes at least once a day since late July. Most of the time, I've been eating them simply---cut up and drizzled with olive oil, tucked into sandwiches and salads, cooked down into soups and sauce. A few weeks ago, Tom, one of the cooks at the restaurant, made a creamy tomato bisque, and I must have eaten a gallon of the stuff. I can't seem to get enough.
Out in the garden, the season's almost over, but we're still holding on. There are a few more meals left out there, and just in case this baby's not quite sure yet how it feels about tomatoes, I'm going to make these last few meals count. We're going to eat tomatoes my favorite way: sliced into big chunks, topped with torn basil and big hunks of creamy burrata mozzarella and grilled croutons, then drizzled with olive oil and sweet balsamic glaze and sprinkled with sea salt. We had this last night for dinner, and the day before for lunch.
Today when it gets to noon, I'm going to head out to the garden, pick a few last red globes, and make up another plate before time and tomatoes run out.
HEIRLOOM TOMATO SALAD
There are so many different versions of this it hardly counts as a recipe. The most important thing to focus on is the quality of your ingredients---you need sweet, super ripe tomatoes, and a rich creamy burrata. Recently I've been using a brand called Maplebrooks Farm from Vermont, but I also like the gorgonzola-stuffed mozarella that Kathleen Kadlik sells at the farmers' markets in Orleans, Falmouth, and Provincetown.
2 large heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
a handful of basil leaves, torn in half if large
1 four ounce ball of burrata or mozzarella, cut into bite-size pieces
2 slices rustic bread
Warm up a cast iron skillet or griddle over medium heat. Meanwhile, arrange the tomatoes, basil leaves, and cheese in a wide, shallow bowl. When the griddle's hot, drizzle the bread slices with olive oil and grill until golden and just crispy on both sides. Cut the bread into croutons. Drizzle the salad with olive oil and balsamic glaze, arrange the croutons on top, and sprinkle with sea salt. Enjoy at once.