Monday, August 23, 2010

I Don't Want Summer to End! Heirloom Tomato and Peach Salad

Summer is my favorite season (Fall comes in at a close second), and although the weather is still quite hot here in Roseville, I am already starting to get a little sad knowing that the end of Summer is coming... good thing Fall is my second favorite, since that comes next!

I love a lot of things about summer, the heat, getting to wear flip flops everywhere but work, being tan, the general relaxed mentality, vacations, etc. BUT one of my most favorite things about summer is Tomatoes! Anyone who knows me well, knows that I have an all out love for tomatoes. My Mom says that when she was pregnant with me she craved tomatoes something terrible, and since they were out of season, she ate whole tomatoes from a can! Now, I am not quite that hardcore, but this time of year, I usually have tomatoes at least two meals a day.

Summer brings along several over foods that I love as well: cucumbers, peaches, nectarines, peppers, etc. My parents have always had a garden, and the summer harvests were some of the most delicious foods I can ever remember eating growing up. I also notice that in the summer, I much prefer eating raw foods as opposed to cooked foods. I don't eliminate cooked foods altogether, but I certainly crave cold, raw foods much more. And all these summer foods taste so good raw! Eating raw foods (vegan of course, we are not talking meat here) is super healthy and nourishing to our bodies, because all of the nutrients and wonderful phyto-chemicals are still in tact. And, you can certainly feel that difference as well.

I was standing in line for an avocado sandwich at a local deli the other day, and I picked up this local foodie magazine that is available in several cities. It is called edible (enter name of current city), in this case Edible Sacramento. One of the featured recipes was this salad, and I couldn't wait to go home and try it! I had never thought of creating a salad of peaches and heirloom tomatoes before, but what a great idea. That night I confirmed what I had suspected would be true... this is one delicious salad!

I know this is no culinary feat to create this dish, but that is also what is so great about it. It is simple food, simply prepared, to an amazing result. Here is what it is, this will serve about 2 people, so you can increase the quantities if you are feeding more:

1 ripe peach sliced, and each slice halved
2 ripe heirloom tomatoes chopped
1/4 small red onion, very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chiffonade
a splash of balsalmic vinegar (I used white balsalmic so that it wouldn't change the color)
a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
a pinch of coarse sea salt
a grind of fresh black pepper
I tossed in a small amount of Arugula, which is optional

Toss everything in a bowl and serve. It is heaven. Literally, a summer's day on a fork. It makes a great side dish when entertaining as well.