Thursday, July 26, 2012

Summer Tomatoes and Caprese Salad

This summer I'm having a love affair with tomatoes. That's a weird thing to say, right? But I am! I've always liked tomatoes, but I don't think I've ever loved them or eaten them as much as I have this summer. Two words: farmers markets. The tomatoes I've bought thus far at farmers markets have been unbelievably delicious, juicy, flavorful... I could go on, but I'll spare you. 

We all know there are a million different ways to eat tomatoes, but in my opinion, the simpler, the better. One of my favorite dishes is the ever-popular caprese salad. It's so simple, but the flavors of the mozzarella and tomato compliment each other extremely well. 

Whether over a bed of arugula with balsamic glaze drizzled on top (my balsamic glaze from Eataly is one of my most treasured items in my pantry, and well worth the $15 I spent on it), or just with a little salt and pepper, you can't go wrong. And of course basil. Yesterday I bought a basil plant for my apartment from the Rockefeller Center Greenmarket and I can't wait to have fresh basil at my disposal anytime, day or night. I also bought rosemary and mint plants, but that's beside the point.  

You can also get really good, inexpensive mozzarella. I've been buying mine from Whole Foods recently and pay somewhere around $3.50 for two baseball-sized balls of mozzarella. My absolute favorite is burrata, but it's more expensive and not something you'd buy every week. The outer shell is solid mozzarella, while the inside contains both mozzarella and cream. I kid you not, it melts in your mouth. The best burrata I've had in New York City (over a bed of arugula and tomatoes) is from San Mateo, a little Italian pizzeria on the Upper East Side. It's owned by Italians, the wait staff is Italian, what's not to love? When I'm there I feel like I'm re-living my semester abroad in Rome. 

So there you have it: my love affair with tomatoes! No recipe necessary. 

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