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Monday, July 19, 2010

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

Don't worry. This isn't an ode to the mutant tomato cartoon of my childhood. I didn't even watch that to be honest. Instead, this is a small meditation on the beauty and delicious summer perfection that is a tomato in July. There are an infinite number of ways to enjoy the summer tomato, and undoubtedly ballads of devotion are a dime a dozen at this point. But oh well. We'll throw our ten cents in too.

Personally, as I start thinking of the different ways to enjoy its juicy perfection, I find myself echoing the memorable shrimp dialogue from Forest Gump, citing the infinite ways to enjoy it on a sandwich or a pizza and the ultimate tomato pie.Of course one of the best compliments to the tomato is bacon. Of course. The smoky salty taste pairs with the slight acidity, reminiscent of plain sliced tomatoes sprinkled with salt (a staple summer side for Sunday dinner). So, for out first killer tomato dish, we prepared a summer tomato and bacon focaccia. Simple and enjoyable as the best outdoor summer fair should be.

Summer Tomato & Bacon Focaccia
1 recipe pizza dough ready to cook
1 Large perfectly ripe tomato, sliced thin
4 Slices bacon, fried crisp and broken into small pieces
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp olive oil
sea salt & pepper

1. Place pizza stone in the oven and preheat oven to 475. 
2. Toss pizza dough and roll thin. Allow to rise slightly. 
3. Combine balsamic and olive oil and sprinkle on prepared dough. Top with sliced tomatoes and bacon. 
4. Sprinkle tomatoes with sea salt and pepper. Place in oven for 10-15 minutes until golden. 
5.Serve immediately

But, to really pay tribute to the tomato, we should take a moment to appreciate it in all it's summer forms. Naturally the heirloom tomatoes have their place, but, we should take a moment to enjoy the other versions of the fruit as well. Particularly, in its green form as well.

While I'm not a huge fan of fried foods, fried green tomatoes are the quintessential way to enjoy a green tomato. Until Daniel's pickled green tomatoes a little while ago and this recipe for a green tomato salad with pistachio relish  in last month's Food & Wine, I didn't have the faintest idea there was another way to enjoy the tart version of summer's treat. Suffice it to say, the curious compliment of the sweet nutty vinegary dressing with the tart tomato made for a refreshing summer dish that was even better the second day. There was probably enough left for two meals...I managed to polish it off in one. Even if you're skeptical about green tomatoes, this one is well worth the try!!! You can find the recipe here. We didn't have the champagne vinegar, so I substituted a white wine vinegar with a teeny pinch of sugar. For an extra kick, I added a little bit of sumac to the dressing as well.

Whatever direction your summer market finds take you, hopefully you'll take advantage of developing a repertoire of your favorite summer dish too. Enjoy!!!


Lisa | Authentic Suburban Gourmet said...

What a great idea for the salad! Looks incredibly tasty. :)

Drick said...

you are so right, both recipes are killer, and killing me... I want both - there is nothing like the goodness of a perfect ripe tomato

Mardi Michels said...

Gorgeous ode to tomatoes - love the colour of those heirloom ones!

Viviane Bauquet Farre / Food and Style said...

Heirloom tomato season has not started yet in my neck of the woods, but we are only a couple of weeks away. Love your recipes and post. I'm salivating!

Tracy said...

I really want to make Summer Tomato & Bacon Focaccia. I've got all these little lovelies from the market that would do well to be nestled on dough spooning up on some bacon under high heat.

Ana Powell said...

Chickie wah wah, bring on the killer tomato.
Delicious recipe ♥

Devon said...

I think I saw an episode or two of that cartoon. Tomatoes are the cat's meow for sure.

Kathleen said...

These are some amazing recipes!

Mother Rimmy said...

So fresh and colorful! I'm thinking the focaccia is on the list for my summer crop of tomatoes!

Fresh Local and Best said...

You are becoming quite a gourmand! I like that you've combined ingredients that aren't commonly put together with tomatoes, such as pistachio nuts and sumac in the dressing. YUMMY!

Magic of Spice said...

What a perfect and delightful summer meal...Everything looks amazing:)

Brie: Le Grand Fromage said...

::drools:: this looks delicious! tomatoes are so refreshing in the summer and go well with everything. yum!

denise @ quickies on the dinner table said...

I am loving that green tomato salad! Just beautiful!

FOODESSA said...

This is certainly a killer focaccia...what wonderful flavours.
I'll get my glass of vino and a nice view...and we'll call it a day ;o)

BTW...thank you for visiting me...although your comment along with 2 others disappeared. I made it on time to see your blog's name only. This is unfortunately not the first time this happens with blogger ;o(
Hence, if you are so inclined...I would love for you to re-visit me at your convenience if time permits of course ;)

Ciao for now and flavourful wishes,

M. said...

beautiful dish, so colorful and summery :)

Stella said...

Oh, and I wish I could get good tomatoes. I really need to grow some in pots or something...
The green tomato salad looks wonderful. And I can see how the vinegar would make it better the next day-like a fresh pickle! Yum Guys!

A Plum By Any Other Name said...

Just picked up some bacon at the farmers' market yesterday. I don't know why it didn't occur to me to pair bacon and tomatoes together on a pizza before: your focaccia sounds lovely. What a great idea, thanks for sharing!

And for stopping by my blog, you'll have to let me know how your blueberry lavender vinaigrette turns out!

grace said...

these are both amazing dishes in completely different ways--hooray for the tomato and its versatility! that pistachio relish is something i'd really love to sample--thanks for the link to the recipe.

Cristina said...

What could be more perfect than that gorgeous Summer tomato and bacon focaccia? That's a great looking meal any time of the year. Luv those green tomatoes. Those aren't as easy to come by in our local markets.

Rick said...

Those pictures make tomatoes look so good. And I don't even like tomatoes. But must say, attack of the killer tomatoes was a great movie. I loved it when I was younger. Remember the cartoon? It was fantastic too.

Sophie said...

Your tomato & bacon foccacia & the green tomato salad are looking so tasty & very flavourful!!

MMMMMMMMMMMMM,...grand pictures too!

Many greetings from Brussels, Belgium!

Keri said...

SHUT UP!!!!! That Pizza is out of this world. I can almost smell it. And the other dish with the green is a work of art. I love it.

I have a sandwich blog and would be flattered to have you visit some time.


Keri said...

Okay Fociccia, what ever.

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