These tomatoes are almost exactly all the colors that I debated painting my nails today. (Dark green won)
I get that a lot of people don’t like tomatoes, but I also get that a lot of people don’t TRY to like tomatoes. They eat out-of-season romas from their shitty grocery store and think they have exhausted the world of the tomato. Because I live in San Francisco and I’m a fucking snob, it takes no more effort for me to walk the 5 blocks to my local farmer’s market on Saturdays than walk the 6 blocks to the local Whole Foods (in my Toms shoes carrying my reusable shopping bags I knowwwwww I know I am so SMUG. But come on. I live under constant threat of earthquake and also we don’t have “summer” so give us our superiority complex, thanks.). What was I saying? Oh yeah, I picked up some tomatoes at the market today, suckers!
And god damn, are those not some beautiful tomatoes? I bought them in the morning not realizing I’d not make it back to my apt until about 7 hours later, so they accompanied to the running shoe store, dolores park, the ice cream parlor, a house warming party, and the nail salon. And when I got in, I ate an ice cream sandwich and contemplated what to do with my tomato companions. They are like, really fucking tasty, my friends.
I debated just eating them like apples, sprinkled with a bit of salt and pepper. But that seemed too easy. Then I discovered the butt end of some lovely bread in my freezer, and I remembered I had an almost-bad cucumber in my fridge, and some also on-the-edge ricotta cheese. The panzanella came together quickly despite a brief time-out to deal with the repercussions of my very first new-chef’s-knife bodily slice! God, do you have any idea how sharp those things are? Sharp enough to cut a very-ripe tomato without squishing it at all, and ALSO sharp enough to slice the top of my hand down to the tendon with zero warning.
I would show you the initial band-aid I immediately bled through, followed by a paper towel contraption that seemed to do well in tandem with a second band-aid, but I hear it’s not cool to showcase blood on a food blog. It made me miss my mother. Not because I wanted her to take care of my cut or because it was her birthday this week (and my dad’s, happy birthday parentsss!!!!!), but because whenever I have a cut that bleeds a lot I think of her response to nearly all of our childhood shenanigans that resulted in injury. I think once I slammed my head into a piece of playground equipment and was bleeding ALL OVER MYSELF. Like, I came to her sobbing, pretty sure I was going to die, and were those my brains in my hair?!?! And my mom kinda inspects me coolly and is like….Katrina, head wounds tend to bleed a lot even if they’re very superficial. You’ll be fine.
Hahaha. Superficial head wounds. Story of my life.
Heirloom Tomato Panzanella
3-4 heirloom tomatoes, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
a few slices good bread, diced and toasted with oil or butter
a handful fresh basil, chiffonaded (or like, sliced real thin)
1 shallot, chopped
salt & pepper
olive oil & vinegar
1 tsp mustard (my favorite is Sierra Nevada porter dijon)
some fresh ricotta
Chop up the things that should be chopped, mix the things that should be mixed, and sprinkle the things that should be sprinkled.