Making the Most of Summer Tomatoes & Basil

Wow was this ever simple and delicious. Roasting tomatoes is marvelously simple and so good I just want to eat the whole pan with a spoon. But I didn’t. I plan to make these tomatoes all summer long with bushels of Farmer’s Market tomatoes. I will spoon them over bread, spread them on sandwiches, sprinkle them over roast pork and serve them with fresh cheese. Yum!

I also highly recommend making a vat of basil oil to keep in the fridge. If you are swimming in fresh basil, this is a great way to use it up. Drizzle the oil over cheese and tomatoes, on omelets, fresh fish … you name it.

BASIL OIL:

Bring a pot of water to a boil and salt generously. Fill a medium bowl with ice water. Place 2 to 3 cups fresh basil in the boiling water and blanch for 15 seconds. Remove with a skimmer and transfer to the ice water. Drain and squeeze out excess water, then place on a clean dish towel and again squeeze out as much water as you can. Place the basil in a blender with 1/2 to 3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil. Blend one to two minutes until the olive oil is green and tinged with flecks of basil. Transfer to a squeeze bottle and refrigerate. (Recipe adapted from the NYT)

I served the chicken with a side of caponata full of fresh eggplant, green peppers and onions. The addition of capers, green olives, raisins and pine-nuts makes this incredibly flavorful.

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