September 19, 2018

What’s Cooking?

By Cristina Clarimon-Alinder

Tomatina tastes like summer

Pretty soon tomato plants all over Vermont will be producing gorgeous tomatoes of all colors and sizes. I absolutely love tomatoes, and I have a good variety of them in my garden. I was also lucky to grow up in a region where they are cherished and celebrated.

In my mind, there is nothing that says summer like a sun-ripened sweet slicer tomato covered in olive oil and with a light sprinkle of sea salt. You can taste the sun and the terrain in an organic, ripe tomato. That is all you need after a day spent by the sea …

So whether you are purchasing your tomatoes from your local farmers’ market or taking them directly from the vine at home, a wonderful way to enjoy them is by making Tomatina. It’s one of the simplest, most honest ways of showcasing these summer jewels, and it hardly takes any time at all to prepare. It keeps well for a couple of days in your refrigerator, and combines splendidly with your favorite fish, meat or egg dishes.

Tomatina

3-4 very ripe, large tomatoes

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp sherry vinegar

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Pinch of lemon zest

1 clove garlic

½ tsp smoked sweet pimenton (paprika)

1 stem flat parsley

½ red onion

½ cup pitted olives of your choice

Salt & black pepper to taste

In a large bowl, squeeze the ripe tomatoes with your hands. Place a colander over another bowl. Transfer the tomatoes into the colander. Let the tomatoes drip until you have moist (but not too wet) tomato flesh left. Discard the juice.

Finely chop the parsley, onion, garlic and olives. Combine all the liquid ingredients (olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice) together in another bowl. Add the tomato pulp and all the chopped solid ingredients to the vinaigrette and blend together with your hands or a large wooden spoon. Add the lemon zest and paprika. Sprinkle salt and black pepper to taste. Mix well and serve on a toasted piece of crusty bread, with an extra drizzle of olive oil. Yum!

Cristina Clarimon-Alinder moved to Williston in 2016. She is originally from Madrid, Spain. She enjoys gardening, cooking and watching classic movies. For more of her writings, visit nectarnc.com

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