Wednesday, September 9, 2009

You Say Tomato

Unfortunately, I had to abandon my garden prematurely--just as my tomatoes (all five of them) were ripening. This way I can blame my failure on someone aside from myself. But five tomatoes! That's four more than I grew last year. Nevermind that two of the green tomatoes fell off the vine while I was harvesting the ripened fruit--I can't even be bothered to care about that except to stomp my feet once or twice. And I have the consolation that the cucumbers reproduced like bunnies, as cucumbers are wont to do. Plus, I never have to set foot in that chigger-infested, weed-laden, lead-poisoned, home-of-snakes backyard again so long as I live. DO NOT TELL OUR LANDLORDS, but I left our grill in the backyard (hopefully, they mistake it for our downstairs neighbor's). Bob the Landlord is already fuming and withholding our deposit for the 25 nails left on the walls (there when we moved in), for us not vacuuming the blinds and for moving into a neighborhood that is just as dangerous as the one we vacated and we better watch out. Oh really, because I think our neighbor WARREN BUFFET would disagree. And we may or may not have broken a few windows--what's a girl to do when she accidentally locks herself in the vestibule to her apartment, obviously it's break a window with her bare fist and jump down seven feet just like MacGyver (someday, my dear children, I'll tell you all the ridiculous things that happen to me). Nevertheless, my dream of consuming more tomatoes than necessary has hit a major set back. I haven't even made bruschetta yet, and I've only eaten two caprese salads with mozarella, basil and tomatoes. This weekend I plan to fully make up for it. In the meantime, I found inspiration on Orangette and borrowed some grape tomatoes from my mother's garden to make this tomato crouton salad. The bread is more than a day old, and I completely doused it with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (which I swear I could drink with a straw). I even had enough basil leftover on my sad, sorry little plant to finish off the salad with something green. Tomato Crouton Salad: from Orangette day-old, crusty bread olive oil salt and pepper cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced 1 clove garlic, minced fresh basil splash of balsamic vinegar Tear bread into bite-size pieces and toss into a medium skillet. Saute on medium heat with olive oil until bread is toasted, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss in tomatoes and minced or finely diced garlic clove. Saute until garlic is lightly browned and your nose crinkles. Add basil and a splash of balsamic vinegar.

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