I haven’t done a lot of cooking this summer. I have a few very good reasons: the BF and I got married! We went on a honeymoon to Vietnam! I started a new job! We have been bouncing all over the country celebrating our friends’ beautiful weddings (congratulations to Kristine and Jim! And Alfred and Emily! And Ben and Becky! And Bradley and Anna! And slightly-early-congrats to Rebecca and Matt!)!
That was a lot of exclamation marks, and I meant every one of them.
I’ll tell you all about our wedding another day. (Yeah, yeah, I know I still owe you the story of our engagement, but this wedding thing is for LIFE, so we’ve got plenty of time.) For now, I’ll tell you the story of our summer, which was a steamy one in Brooklyn. Once our kitchen gets hot it basically never cools down, so on the few weekends we weren’t bachelorette-ing or 30th-birthdaying or engagement-partying, we left the stove off and went out for our favorite neighborhood burgers and pizza. (Our wedding diets went great, thank you). And on the weeknights that we actually cooked at home, it was mostly reverse-seared steak on the grill and this salad, thrown together with tomatoes from our garden, and eaten on the couch in the backyard while we finalized the napkin design and picked out the donkey outfits (yup, I said donkey outfits) and tried to pick between the mac and cheese and grits for the rehearsal dinner, and ended up just having both. Because you only get married once, ya know?
And when we would get completely paralyzed by wedding decisions, we could always fall back on this easy, lovely salad. It’s simple — the olive oil is grassy, and the vinegar snappy, and the pepper sharp. The basil is fresh and the salt just makes the tomatoes taste more tomato-y. And the little (okay, fine, big) scoop of ricotta makes the whole thing feel decadent and effortful, even though it comes together in a matter of minutes while your brain is halfway across the country, dreaming of a wedding kiss under a big ol’ oak tree.
Flashback! One year ago on Leighto-Greato: Zucchini Bread with Cranberries and Pecans
Two years ago on Leighto-Greato: Tomatillo Salsa
- Late summer tomatoes, cut into wedges
- Olive oil
- Red wine vinegar
- Maldon sea salt and fresh-cracked black pepper, to taste
- Basil leaves
- Fresh, whole milk ricotta
- Toss the tomato wedges with the oil and vinegar. I didn't include amounts in the recipe because they depend on the tomatoes, but I generally find that about 1 teaspoon of olive oil and ½ teaspoon of vinegar per tomato (but I like mine pretty vinegary, so you might start with less and adjust to your taste). Arrange the tomato wedges on a plate, season with salt and pepper, sprinkled with roughly torn basil leaves and top with ricotta.
- Eat immediately, preferably with your fingers, sitting outside in the last rays of summer sunshine, with a glass of chilled beaujolais.