Thursday, May 24, 2007


Another from-the-garden recipe. I'm totally overwhelmed by the number of cherry & currant tomatoes that are ripening now.

My wife is a first-rate baker. She uses the levain method: no yeast, just naturally-occurring bacilli and yeasts. Florida's got some of those. She bakes at least three times a week -- huge, two-pound loaves. We eat it with every meal. Her bread is dense, pocketed with fissures and holes, wheaty, slightly acidic without being sour. The crust is thick, crispy, and golden. We've lived for long periods in Europe, in the heartland of good bread, and hers would stand toe-to-toe with any bread I've ever eaten.

Here's what I did with it...

This will serve two for a main dish or four as a salad. The point is to create a gustatory party of colors, textures, flavors and smells.
  • a few handfuls of cherry/currant tomatoes, or a couple of large tomatoes. I like to use a mix of cherries (Sun Gold, Yellow Currant, Matt's Wild). If you're using small tomatoes, just squeeze them by the handful -- careful of the mess. Or dice the large tomatoes medium.
  • lots of scallions, preferably red ones (for the color). tops and bottoms chopped roughly
  • tomato-friendly herbs: mint, basil, oregano and parsley. A few handfuls of each, though let the parsley predominate.
  • a few cucumbers or sweet peppers, chopped roughly (a little something crunchy)
  • 1/2 c. flavorful olive oil (bring out the good stuff)
  • 3-4 tbsp. of red wine vinegar
  • salt (I like flake sea salt) and pepper (coarsely ground)
  • 1 pound peasant bread, ideally a little stale, torn into 1 inch chunks
Mix the tomatoes, scallions, herbs, cukes, peppers, oil & vinegar in a large salad bowl. Let them sit and marry for a while. About fifteen minutes before you're ready to eat, chuck the bread into the bowl and toss it all very well. Serve, with copious amounts of cheap but excellent wine.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say that I frequent your blog & very much enjoy it. The pictures are always lovely & I like your writing style. Would love it if you posted your wifes bread recipe! Maybe even a bread making "how to."