Friday, August 10, 2007

Good Eats

Yesterdays farmer's market trip showed full harvest is going on. Of course I'm in California, so everything is earlier here then what I was used to in the Midwest/East Coast. It was a proverbial cornucopia . I ended up with fresh olive oil, goat cheese with chives/garlic, organic eggs, heirloom tomatoes, basil honey, baguettes, figs, grapes, squash, apples, torpedo onions and greens. I was drooling by the time I arrived home as the smells from the bag tantalized my nose the whole time I was driving.

Here's a recipe which includes some of my finds:

Heirloom Tomato Salad with
Grilled Red Torpedo Onions and Pesto Vinaigrette

2 red Torpedo onions, peeled, cut into half moons and thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound various heirloom tomatoes (approximately 4 to 6 tomatoes)
kosher salt or course sea salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup pesto vinaigrette
basil leaves for garnish

Pesto Vinaigrette:
1 clove garlic, peeled
kosher salt, to taste
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (optional)
2 cups fresh basil leaves, stems removed
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
cracked black pepper, to taste

1. Preheat a grill.

2. Toss the onions in a bowl with the oil and season with salt and pepper.

3. Remove the cores from the tomatoes and cut them in various shapes and sizes (wedges, round slices, half-moons, etc.) and reserve.

4. Place onions on the grill over medium heat and grill until the onions are tender and caramelized, about 10 minutes.

5. To make vinaigrette, in the bowl of a food processor, purée garlic and salt until a paste is formed. Add pine nuts and basil and process until a fine paste formed. With motor running, add vinegar and then slowly add oil in a thin stream until the mixture is emulsified. Taste and adjust seasoning.

6. Arrange the tomatoes on the plates. Season with salt and pepper. Place several slices of grilled onions on top of the tomatoes and drizzle with pesto vinaigrette. Arrange several basil leaves on and around tomatoes and sprinkle with additional cracked black pepper.

Included was an addition of the baguette topped with the goat cheese mixture. The meal was concluded with caramelized figs and whipped creme.

Joan Baez and The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down was a part of my childhood summers and I found the analog version so here it is:

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