Thursday, August 29, 2013

Lunch Memories with Mom and Dad

One of my favorite lunches that my mom would serve when I came to visit was provolone cheese, Italian bread, and a tomato salad. Every time I make this lunch now, I can't help but think of my parents. Over the weekend my brother unexpectedly stopped by and dropped off a bag of ripe tomatoes fresh off the vine from his garden.

What better time to make tomato salad? Luckily Jim enjoys it, too. He bought the cheese and bread at the grocery store.

First I got out my largest cutting board. Then I got out my three (YES 3!) knives that I like to use. The first one is my RED knife that is used only to slice tomatoes and cheese!

We like the sharp Provolone cheese. It has a nice bite to it. Of course, if you are not a fan of Provolone cheese, ANY cheese will do! I sliced up the cheese and put it on a small plate, which I set on the table.

Next I washed these beautiful tomatoes,

isn't that red color just gorgeous? I diced these tomatoes up and placed them in a bowl.

I like to give them a squeeze to get out all the juices......makes it yummy to dip the bread into the flavorful juice!

I'm not a big raw onion fan, so I tend to go easy on the onions here. You can add all you want. I only used about a 1/4 of an onion - it all depends on the size of the onion. I also tend to chop the onion in big pieces. Here's the thing. I like the flavor of the onion, but I don't necessarily want to chomp down on one! (I eat around the onions!) So my rule of thumb is lessor and bigger, capice? (Using my favorite knife - which MUST be sharp!)

Here are the other ingredients that you will need. Sorry, the photo isn't that great and I'm too lazy to recreate it!

Basically, fresh ground pepper, salt (I use Kosher salt), Italian seasoning, (you could just use oregano) and Extra Virgin olive oil.

With any seasoning, it's always good to crush it in your hand to release the oils before adding it to your cooking. I just know you're going to want to know exactly how much I use here. Well, I don't know. I took a picture of how much I dumped into my hand.  It really doesn't matter! I'd say about 1-2 teaspoons!

I added a few good pinches of salt (to taste) and a couple twists of pepper. Now comes the oil. If you have a lot of juice from the tomatoes, you don't need as much oil. I never measure so I'm guessing here. Maybe 1/4 cup? Add more if you need more juice. Mix it all together. If it sits for a little bit, the flavors marry and boy is it good! It should look like this!

By the way, that dish is from my Mom. Made out of Melmac. Anybody remember that material?
Here is our table all set for lunch. Yummy! (Note my third knife - a bread knife!)

Speaking of knives, did I ever share with you before this trick of keeping the knife's blade sharp? Jim saw this somewhere and we have adopted this idea. Using the plastic slide-on for report covers (available at Walmart, Staples, and probably anywhere school supplies are sold), cut down to the size of the knife blade.

Then easily glide the plastic onto the blade. Wha-lah! You have a cover for the blade!

You are welcome!


Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Yummmmmmm....nothing better than good fresh food unless it has wonderful family memories attached! Your brother's heirloom tomatoes look delicious and so does your recipe.

SquirrelQueen said...

Those tomatoes are beautiful. That salad looks so good that you have made my mouth water.

Valerie said...

My mouth is watering as well, Pat. I'm going to try the recipe AND the cover for the knife blade. I just happen to have some of those plastic spines. Thanks for passing on the idea.

in the coop said...

That is a great idea for a knife cover! I've made this tomato salad a few times. Everyone loves it (except me. I'm not a big fan of tomatoes on their own.)

Rae said...

I make a similar tomato salad and we like it a lot. Have to try the provolone next time though. Thanks for the knife tip. That is an excellent idea.

Brian Miller said... wife makes a similar salad, but she also puts bits of cheese inside of it....

JoJo said...

So many great tips in this post! Thank you! I'm not a giant fan of tomatoes but that looks amazing! I wonder how it'd be with a few capers tossed in too? Also, I see a lot of recipes that call for Kosher salt. What are the benefits of using it vs. your basic Morton?

Mama Zen said...

Those tomatoes look divine!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful salad. I love simple foods like that, fixed simply. Here in the San Joaquin Valley, we make that salad a lot, adding cucumbers and sometimes fresh basil and call it summer salad. Most of the restaurants serve a version of it all summer long. It's just part of the culture.

Bossy Betty said...

Very cool tip! That salad looks really good. I LOVE your header!!!!

Lynn said...

Looks yummy! And yes, I remember Melmac! Good old unbreakable stuff, precurser to all the plastic plates I suppose.

Carletta said...

Nothing like fresh tomatoes and this is a dish I'll make for sure.
When we retired and moved I gave my old Corelle dishes to my daughter and bought a set of Melmac dishes for everyday use. :)

BTW: The Budweiser Blimp is supposed to be in Chicago mid-Sept.

Wendy said...

Great Pat!
And here's a tip for you (though, I'm betting you probably already know this one...);
To get the smell of onion off your hands (& cutting board, if you want), just hold your knife under running water and let that water run over your hands (& cutting board, if you're doing that too).
I can't remember *why* it works, I just know it does. =-)

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Mmmm! I do love fresh tomato season and this looks like a great way to do it.

Betty Manousos said...

tomato salad is one of my fave foods of all time-
i love your ripe, red, juicy tomatoes...this looks like a delicious recipe!