Sometimes I try to pretend that I don’t wait for this season all year long with varying degrees of patience. Some years, I’d like to think that it’s the corn I’m really after. The berries. Burgers on the grill. But who am I kidding? It’s tomatoes. Tomatoes are what I crave in the deep recesses of winter – tomatoes are what I pine for. Sweet, umami-laden globules of liquid sunshine.
This salad highlights their peak season glory perfectly – and lucky for me, I’m the only tomato worshipper in the house. It’s a dead simple thing to whip up for lunch – barely a recipe, really.
Sweet Summer Sunshine – aka Tomato, Peach & Basil Salad with Chili
Mixed heirloom tomatoes – a cup, cup and a half – thinly sliced
1 ripe peach, pitted and sliced thinly
1 tsp. thinly sliced basil ribbons
1 Tbsp. grapeseed oil
1 tsp. sambal oelek (hot garlic chili sauce – I use the brand with the white chicken – it should be located near the squeeze bottle sriracha with the same chicken and comes in a clear plastic jar with a green lid) – sub for Whole30 sriracha if going that route
Your favorite finishing salt – I used some grey sea salt, but I could see black or Maldon salt being fabulous here, or even citrus-infused kosher
Arrange your tomatoes on a plate. Scatter peaches about until you have something that looks exciting and alive. Sprinkle with basil.
In a small bowl, mix the grapeseed oil and sambal oelek. Beat with a fork to combine.
Drizzle oil mixture over salad. Sprinkle with salt to finish.
Serves 1 for lunch. Feel free to scale up to feed a crowd. If you are making for a party, prepare as close to go time as possible. This salad is best at room temperature (I would never suggest refrigerating fresh tomatoes as it kills some of their taste) or even a little above.
Update: After writing this, my DH came home from work not hungry in the slightest for dinner. I ate this salad again for dinner beefed up with slivers of fennel, crumbles of feta and citrus salt. Yum. I might just have to hit the greenmarket this weekend so I can try a version with rosemary-infused olive oil, smoky cheese and orange….