Summer, Made Edible

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Is there anything sweeter than the first corn of the season?  

 Technically, we may be jumping the gun, but temperatures dictated that we pull out this tin. 

Record breaking heat-waves in November (for those in America, think May) are just plain scary, but we chose to embrace the upside, with butter dribbling down our chins.

And summer (however early) would not be summer without this salad.  Fresh, cool, simple, delicious.

Tomato Basil & Goats Cheese Salad
Three tomatoes on the vine, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 bunch basil leaves
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 jar marinated goats cheese 
red wine vinaigrette 

Layer the tomatoes, slightly overlapping, on a platter, seasoned with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, and dress lightly with Red Wine Vinaigrette.  Top with basil leaves, pinches of marinated goat's cheese, and a sprinkling of red onion.  Done.

For the Red Wine Vinaigrette
Why anyone would ever buy commercial dressing is simply beyond me, when it is so easy and guaranteed to be better, fresher, cheaper, and so darn easy.  

1 French shallot, finely chopped
Red Wine Vinegar, to taste 
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
Small piece of marinated goats cheese, crumbled 

Combine shallot, salt, pepper and vinegar in a jar with a tightly fitting lid and shake.  Do not hold back on the salt and pepper - season generously  and dissolve the salt in the vinegar, remembering that you'll be adding a fair bit of olive oil later.  If you have the time, all the better to then pop this combination macerate for a few hours or over-night.  Add the goats cheese and olive oil to taste (I like my dressing quite sharp - almost equal parts vinegar:oil).  Shake the jar until the dressing is emulsified, then test the seasoning by dipping in a lettuce leaf  (or, in this case, basil), and adjust as necessary.  


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