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For those cookouts this weekend it's time to think
salads and sides and this one couldn't be easier.
Whether you go for burgers, steaks, chicken, pork,
ribs, dogs, brats or veggie burgers fire up that grill
and have some fun with a group of friends or family.
Here's a Summer recipe ideal to go with this weekend's BBQs.
This 3 TOMATO COMBO SALAD is as beautiful as it is
delicious and can be made up to 4 hours in advance and
kept at room temperature until ready to serve.

TIP: I like to keep a bottle of balsamic glaze on hand
since I love drizzling it on just about anything. For
a quick quick appetizer you can alternate slices of
sliced tomato, fresh mozzarella and a fresh basil leaf
on a platter and drizzle on some balsamic glaze. Not
only does it look fancy on a plate it tastes amazing too!
For individual appetizers you can also skewer a cherry
or grape tomato, a similar sized chunk of fresh mozzarella,
and half of a basil leaf on a toothpick and lightly drizzle
balsamic glaze over the entire platter. Perfect bite sized
appetizers and nice presentation too!

Enjoy!
Marzee

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RECIPE: TRIO OF TOMATO SALAD

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INGREDIENTS:
1/4 cup fruity olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Pinch sugar
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pint yellow pear tomatoes, halved
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 pint orange cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup fresh minced basil

DIRECTIONS:
Whisk together the oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Add
the tomatoes and toss well to coat with the dressing. Add the
basil and toss gently. Serve at room temperature and do not
refrigerate for best flavor.

Yield: 6 servings
Category: Vegetables, Salads


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TOMATO TIPS:

There are all sorts of combination of small tomatoes:
pear, grape, cherry, or even sliced plum tomatoes for
tasty salads.

Tomatoes don't develop adequate flavor unless allowed
to ripen on the vine. Seek out locally grown tomatoes
whenever possible. They may not be as "pretty" as store
bought, but beauty, of course, is only skin deep.
Fragrance is a better indicator of a good tomato than
color. Use your nose and smell the stem end. The stem
should retain the garden aroma of the plant itself.

Since fresh tomatoes are summer fare and off-season
tomatoes are rarely flavorful, substitute canned Italian
plum tomatoes in cooked dishes. Cook for ten minutes to
reduce the liquid and enhance the taste.

Storing & Ripening Tomatoes:
Never refrigerate fresh tomatoes! Cold temperatures make
the flesh of a tomato pulpy and destroys the flavor. To
ripen, place green or unripened tomatoes in a brown paper
bag and place in a dark spot for three or four days,
depending on the degree of greenness. Do not put tomatoes
in the sun to ripen - this softens them.