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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Fine Line Between Love and Hate

For most of my life, I ordered hamburgers without tomatoes.  I didn't think I liked them.

But after years of a tomato-less existence, I discovered that I actually did like tomatoes, good tomatoes.  Ted and I were on a vacation in France and we picked up some goodies for a picnic from a farmer's market.  And it was there that I tasted what a tomato was really supposed to taste like.

And I loved it.

Since then I've had a sort of love/hate relationship with tomatoes.  The ones that we get in the grocery stores here in Pittsburgh are the same tasteless tomatoes I remember from my "no tomatoes, please" phase.  But on those rare occasions that I can pick up some homegrown tomatoes at the farmer's market well, those I love.

Ted is preparing to grow tomatoes again this summer.  Last summer we had so many I didn't know what to do with them.  Needless to say, we ate a lot of caprese salad.  This summer I'm going to be ready with more recipes, including this one from Giada De Laurentiis.  I got lucky at the farm stand the other day and picked up some of those tomatoes that I love to love.

Recipe:  Red Potato and Tomato Salad
(Giada De Laurentiis, Weeknights with Giada, 2012)

1 pound baby red potatoes, halved
1 pint (2 cups) cherry tomatoes, halved
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup pitted black olives, halved
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large lemon, zested
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Add the potatoes to a medium saucepan with enough cold water to cover by at least 2 inches. Set the saucepan over medium heat. Bring the water to a boil and continue boiling until the potatoes are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander and allow them to dry for 5 minutes.

In a serving bowl, add the potatoes, tomatoes, scallions, olives, parsley, capers, thyme, olive oil, and lemon zest. Toss gently until all the ingredients are coated and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Refrigerate for 1 hour and gently toss again before serving.

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