We had worked last night and all day today and the last thing I wanted to do was cook. At least that’s what I started out thinking and saying. We bandied about a few places we might go to eat but it was still early and although neither of us had anything to eat all day except a few bites of some leftover tea sandwiches and I had a piece of watermelon, we weren’t ready to commit. AND we still had a few errands to run before we went home…. Somewhere between going to Walgreens and Wegman’s I got the idea that if we hurried we could get to Matt’s Vegetable and Fruit Stand before they closed and buy some corn. The corn we had last night was Silver Queen and it’s like candy on a cob. With that memory fresh in mind, I decided I would cook tonight IF Peter would agree to a simple meal of hot dogs. And I mean simple – no grilling. I would boil them which actually is the way we prefer them cooked anyway.
But I wanted some hot dog rolls tonight and sauerkraut and baked beans as well as the corn and we should pick up some tomatoes too. When we got to Matt’s, the display of Jersey tomatoes was unbelievable. There was a 10′ table laden with bright red fleshy globes of sweet juiciness. Hundreds of tomatoes to pick from and so I did – pick a few perfect specimens. Peter grabbed 4 ears of corn using a tried and true technique for picking the best ears. Well a farmer told me and it’s always worked for me so I’ll pass it on to you. No need to strip the corn down a bit. Besides that’s is just so rude. Pick the ears that have long very dark tassels. I spied some zucchini and yellow squash and remarked that we had not had any other fresh vegetables this summer other than corn and tomatoes, so bought some squash too.
And now this is how I made the meal into a great dinner.
The corn was steamed, the baked beans heated up in the microwave along with the sauerkraut. I sliced up the squash and sautéed the slices in olive oil and garlic. Then, I found the dining section from this week’s New York Times and proceeded to follow a fantastic recipe listed there in the glory of tomatoes. I should check to see if the writer is from New Jersey – HEY, we all know that BEST tomatoes are Jersey Tomatoes. I want to share the recipe with you in case you threw out the paper or can’t find it on the web.
Tomato, Fresh Fig and Blue Cheese Salad
1 TBS balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 cup olive oil
2 TBS pine nuts (I didn’t have quite that much, so just tossed the rest of the bottle in pan)
1 large or 2 small ripe tomatoes about 8 ounces, thinly sliced
1/2 pound fresh figs, cut into quarters (I used 2)
1 ounce crumbled blue cheese or to taste
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves (I had some frozen but they were more like dried)
1. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar and salt. Whisk in oil
2. In a small skillet over medium-low heat, toast pine nuts; shaking the pan occasionally until light golden, about 2 minutes.
3. Spread tomato slices on a large plate. Scatter fig quarters and pine nuts over tomatoes. Sprinkle with cheese and thyme, drizzle with dressing and finish with pepper.
recipe from New York Times
This was really a feast and in very short order too. Life is good in The Garden State in the summer.