Do you know what this is?
This, friends, is bottled happiness. It’s summer in a jar.
It’s as if nature herself decided to make and package her own low-fat salad dressing. Tomatoes, basil, olive oil, garlic … stirred together and then left out in the sunshine to blend and deepen the flavors.
A version of this sunny tomato dressing recipe is included in my very well-worn copy of “The Summer Book,” a beautifully illustrated Martha’s Vineyard cookbook by Susan Branch. It’s plenty good on a simple green salad [oh, throw a few croutons in there, too, why don’t you?]. But it’d be excellent in any number of other ways:
- on freshly steamed green beans or roasted broccoli
- on grilled fish or chicken
- as a dip for boiled shrimp
- on a plate of sliced tomatoes
- over pasta
- as a salsa-like snacketizer with pita chips for dipping
sunny day tomato salad dressing
2 large perfectly ripe, right-out-of-the-garden summer tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 clove garlic, smashed with a pinch of salt to make a paste
2 Tbsp. (packed) chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
pinch of sugar
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Combine everything together in a lidded glass jar or bottle; season to taste with salt and pepper. Cap the container and place it in a sunny spot [like, I dunno, in your kitchen herb garden?] for 4 or 5 hours. Dressing can be refrigerated, but be sure to serve it at room temperature.