99.9% of the time I'm a tomato hater. I don't like bloody mary's, ketchup or salsa fresca. The thought of putting a tomato on a sandwich makes me cringe.
Yes, I have issues.
For one brief moment, usually mid-August to mid-September (aka now) a tomato actually tastes like a tomato!
Strange concept, I know.
I decide to put my tomato phobia aside and do what anyone in their right mind would do with a bunch of local fresh picked tomatoes.
Make caprese salad.
In my eyes, this is one of the most quintessential summer dishes. Basil is plentiful and tomatoes are everywhere. Grab yourself a ball of fresh mozzarella and you're in business!
Slice up some tomatoes, tuck in some fresh mozzarella and basil. Drizzle with a nice extra virgin olive oil and a generous pinch of sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.
I decided to follow this up with the simplest of pasta dishes, aglio e olio (aglio=garlic. olio=oil).
Aglio e olio in seven steps
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil
2. Add pasta. Cook till al dente. Reserve a 1/2 c of the cooking water. Drain pasta and rinse under cold water.
3. In the same pot, heat a nice glug of olive oil.
4. Add lots of grated garlic and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Cook 15 seconds, stirring constantly.
5. Add the pasta back in along with a splash of the pasta cooking water and some grated parmesan or pecorino romano. Cook for a minute or so, constantly stirring pasta.
6. Throw in some fresh chopped parsley.
7. Serve with more grated cheese, cracked black pepper and a nice drizzle of olive oil.
Easy peasy summer eats!