Thursday, August 16, 2007

Cherry Tomatoes with Micro-Basil and Goat Cheese

Micro-basil is one of those terms that you see on the menus of fancy restaurants, where plebeian words like "young" or "small" are just too mundane to be contemplated. Micro-basil is, of course, perfect for those micro-courses such as amuse bouche and other exotic little appetizers that fit in the palm of your hand. Its also ridiculously easy to grow in your windowsill. Just throw a few basil seeds at some dirt, or even onto a damp paper towel and a few days later-voila! Micro-basil! And all for just a few pennies a day...

My micro-basil was teetering on the edge between micro and macro when I decided something had to be done. Not particularly with the basil, but rather with my pint of multicoloured cherry tomatoes that I had photographed and then purchased at the Dupont Farmers' Market this past Sunday. It too was teetering on an edge-that edge between luscious ripeness and time to dump it in the garbage before it liquefies on your counter-ness. Luckily, as you can see, they were still on the luscious side when I turned them into a delicious and very simple salad. I then devoured most of it for dinner with two slices of my toasted honey rye bread.

Cherry Tomatoes with Micro-Basil and Goat Cheese

2 Cups cherry tomatoes, preferably mixed.

2/3 (or more) Cup micro-basil (or plain old macro basil, slivered)

1-2 oz goat cheese (I used 1 oz, but if you want more, pile it on!)

1 Tsp quality olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper


Some kind of crusty bread (for serving)

To assemble:

1. Rinse and dry the cherry tomatoes, then cut in half and place in the serving bowl.

2. Rinse micro-basil or regular basil, sliver if needed and dump on top of the tomatoes.

3. Cut or crumble goat cheese into chunks and add to the bowl.

4. Pour 1 Tsp of high quality extra virgin olive oil over the tomatoes and basil.

5. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

6. Toss. Let sit for a few minutes while toasting a couple slices of your favorite crusty bread.

7. Serve with bread to mop up the juices. Enjoy!

Serves two people as a side salad, one with leftovers as a main course. The salad sans bread and with 1 oz of goat cheese is 240 calories total, or 120 calories per serving.

* I must acknowledge here that the photo of cherry tomatoes in a colander is not mine. No, it is Jose's. We both took pictures, and his turned out better. Of course I'm not envious! One cant get a perfect photo everytime, can one? *sniff*

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