At Easter brunch I was speaking with my friend Amy about the live cooking demos I give at Eastern Market each Saturday. She said, “I love it! I always go to my local farmers market and have no idea what to do with the beautiful food there.” I have the same problem.
Each week I talk to the farmers at the Market and ask “what’s going to be at its prime for next weekend?” I head home with bags of food to think and study. I’ll read through recipes in four or five cook books, search on line and wait for inspiration to hit. What flavor combinations sound most exciting with this ingredient? Are there other fresh ingredients I can use? And, what will be relatively quick and easy?
Some weekends, you walk through the market and the produce just speaks to you. Fresh, young, early season arugula that isn’t too peppery yet. The temptation of early season tomatoes that you know could use a little flavor boost, and a wonderful new fresh tomato infused olive oil that I was introduced to by the folks at Sapore, the new olive oil and vinegar store near the Market. The oil takes April tomatoes and makes them taste like July.
Sometimes the ingredients just come together. And it’s truly magic.
The secret to this rich, bright tomatoey dressing is a combination of grated tomato pulp and the fresh tomato infused olive oil from Sapore*.
- 1 medium tomato
- 1 clove garlic
- 3-4 large basil leaves, cut in thin ribbons
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 3/4 cup Ripe Tomato infused Olive Oil, or other high quality olive oil
- Cut tomato in half, scoop out seeds with your fingers and grate, cut side in, on a box grater. The skin will protect your hand from the sharp grate.
- Mash together garlic with a pinch of salt using the flat side of the knife or the tines of a fork. Sharp, hard crystals of sea salt help shred the garlic.
- Whisk together garlic paste, 1/4 – 1/3 cup tomato pulp, basil and vinegar. Season with black pepper.
- Whisk in olive oil in a thin stream until thick and creamy. Season to taste with salt pepper and more vinegar or oil as desired.
*”You want me to buy an entire bottle of olive oil for one recipe?” Absolutely! First, this dressing is delicious and you’ll make it again and again. Secondly, you’ll want leftover oil to drizzle over your early or late season tomato sauces to give them fresh, summer flavor.