What are you going to do with the basil you bought at Basil Fest? One of the freshest, simplest answers is to create a salad matching the herb with its best friend, tomatoes, which are also coming into season.
You probably have everything else you need for this salad, already in your house. And many of you probably enjoy this amazing combination on a regular basis. But for the few of you who have never made it, here’s a brief run down of what you need to do.
Tomato Basil Salad
4 large tomatoes
Salt, to taste
10-12 fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic, minced
1-2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Black pepper, to taste
Remove the stems from the tomatoes and cut into wedges or slices, whichever you prefer. Salt them and let some of the juices drain in a colander until you’re just about ready to serve the salad. (Don’t let them set more than 20 minutes.)
Remove any stems from the basil leaves. Tear them in small pieces or cut in a chiffonade (thin strips).
In a salad bowl, toss the tomatoes, basil and garlic with the vinegar, oil and black pepper. Serve immediately.
You can vary this salad, but adding fresh mozzarella to the tomatoes and basil for a classic Caprese. Or you can use any type of goat cheese. Just skip the garlic, drizzle with oil and vinegar, and sprinkle salt and pepper on top of the tomatoes, basil and cheese.
Makes 4-6 servings.
From John Griffin