Last night I was with a friend from Italy and we are two of the most different people you can imagine. We had a blast and laughed over the many differences.
I can throw a toothbrush and a razor in a backpack and go anywhere and he travels with an entourage of suitcases.
My closets have been converted to pantries and my wine refrigerator to a meat curing cube and he has more clothes than I can imagine wearing in a year.
The evening just reminded me how much I love the simple pleasures and made me think of one of my favorite meals. Simplicity in itself the base being just sliced tomatoes, but with a crust of bread and a glass of wine it is heaven.
As we soon will leave the season of abundant ripe tomatoes I encourage you to head to your garden or a Farm Market soon and try this for yourself. Reduce the number of anchovies if you must but don't eliminate them from this dressing. They provide a depth of flavor that makes the salad a meal.
I had variations of this all over Rome and Napoli so feel free to vary it yourself. With these good ingredients you can't go wrong.
- 1 cup pitted green and black olives, roughly chopped
- a nice handful of chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 20 anchovy fillets, chopped
- 1/4 cup capers
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- A huge handful or 4 of fresh basil, chopped.
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup really fruity peppery extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 4 large ripe tomatoes sliced
Slice the tomatoes and arrange on a platter and use a spoon to mound this dressing over the slices. Serves two as a meal and 4 as an appetizer.
IF for any reason you have leftovers chop the tomatoes and store in the frig, the next day warm and toss over pasta...it makes a killer fresh pasta sauce. I will say the only time I had leftovers was when I did 8 large tomatoes for two persons, and even then...not too much left.