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Gourmet Oil and Vinegar

Gourmet Oil and Vinegar

Red ripe tomatoes and basil

Preparing sun-warmed tomatoes and basil is a simple accomplishment, by Italian cooking standards. The most difficult decision to make is whether to slice the red tomatoes or cut them into wedges. Many will opt to slice the tomatoes for an arranged plate, and choose wedges to toss in a salad.

The basics for making tomatoes and basil taste their best are fine olive oil and good balsamic vinegar.

Dried oregano gives better flavor to tomatoes than the fresh herb, but you would want to use fresh basil, thyme and mint.

Some chefs offer some words of caution about balsamic vinegar. Although it adds interesting, sweet flavor to red ripe tomatoes, remember that it is strong and dark and will darken them in color.

Here are a few preparation suggestions for combining basil and tomatoes.

  • Slice ripe tomatoes, small, peeled cucumbers and mozzarella cheese. Alternate slices of the three in rings or rows on a plate. Drizzle with a dressing made with extra-virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Let stand an hour, then top with fresh basil and serve.

  • Combine tomato wedges with sliced, peeled cucumbers, sliced red onions, chopped garlic, pitted black olives, and fresh basil torn into small pieces by hand. Add the same dressing, toss and serve.

  • Cut round bocconcini cheeses in quarters and slice ripe tomatoes and a ripe avocado. Alternate slices of the three in circles or rows on a plate. Sprinkle with chopped white onions. Make a dressing with extra-virgin olive oil, a little balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper; drizzle over the tomato mixture. Let stand an hour, top with torn fresh basil leaves, and serve.

Basil and tomatoes should never be refrigerated unless they have been chopped. Basil should be wrapped in a white plain paper towel and placed in a sealed plastic bag.

Try these tomatoes and basil recommendations as well.

Dice or chop five large tomatoes. Cut two large cucumbers in half lengthwise, scrape out seeds, and cut into ½-inch pieces; toss with 1/3 cup red-wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 teaspoon salt. Let stand 30 minutes, then toss with tomatoes, ¾ cup chopped sweet onion, 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint and 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.

Slice tomatoes into ½-inch slices and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and chopped oregano. Place the slices on an oiled grill, grate and cook 1 to 2 minutes per side. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and pepper to taste. This also works with red ripe cherry tomatoes, which should be skewered.

Italian Food, tomatoes and basil recipe

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One Response to “Red ripe tomatoes and basil”

  1. Olive Oil - The Best Olive Oils
    August 15th, 2006 07:34

    They all sound delightful. So pleased I stumbled onto this site. It’s a treasure trove of info for any olive oil lover like myself. Gives me so many options for what to do with the oil we produce from our trees. Keep up the great work!

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