This post is presented by San Pellegrino. I’m digging this content series as they focus on moments in food as seen through an Italian angle. What a great way to think about past trips to Italy, right?
Let’s not talk about this past summer.
I mean, let’s.
Pros: Sunny, Warm, Daylight. Cons: Sunny, Warm, Daylight.
This will most likely be the only time I will willingly complain about summer. You see, it was brutal. B-R-U-T-A-L. Hot. Abnormally hot. And while I’m a warm weather kinda guy of the highest order, it was just too much. I’m happy to say things have since cooled down.
Because of the heat and calendar obligations, I spent most of the past 2 months tucked inside my studio working, moving into a new home, and doing my best to avoid the heat. Somewhere in the process I missed one little star of summer.
It wasn’t until I realized I hadn’t had my share of summer tomatoes until I was in Sonoma shooting at Jordan Winery. With an organic garden located below the estate, the realization hit me as I was staring smack dab at dozens of tomato plants. It hit me again when lunch was served (a platter of heirlooms with basil) and again at dinner (more tomatoes with vinaigrette and hair-thin slices of onions). I decided that I must make up for my tomato deficit by eating as many as possible over 3 days, and let me tell you I was in glorious tomato nirvana.
Standing in the chateau of the winery transports you to Europe, and getting my fill of tomatoes reminded me of a trip we made a few years ago to Don Alfonso on the Sorrento Coast. Every morning for breakfast, fresh garden tomatoes were served on top of toasted bread alongside a variety of pastries and jams. Tomatoes for breakfast? Is this normal? Does it matter? All I can say is that I loved the tangy, acidic savory contrast against of platter of sweets. It was heavenly, and when I got back I decided to embrace what’s left of summer by creating this bruschetta for breakfast. Enjoyed with tea or a cappuccino it’s a perfect breakfast, or for that moment after breakfast that’s not quite a brunch.
There is no recipe for this, just some guidelines for this dish. You’ll want to use the best possible tomatoes you can find, and don’t even think of making this dish in winter. And if you hurry, you can still find some great tomatoes, but they’re going fast. If necessary, quickly blanch the tomatoes to remove their skins, although it’s not necessary. A little salt, a tiny bit of olive oil, and perhaps a drizzle of honey. Maybe a basil leaf or two. No, this isn’t your full-flavored, pack-with-garlic-and-basil bruschetta that you might enjoy for dinner but a simpler, quieter version that is at home next to sweet things. And when it comes to bread, don’t skimp.
See you next summer, summer. And try to cool it a bit, will you?
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