July in the South is a month that brings some of the hottest days of the summer, but it also brings the beloved tomato season!!! While one can go to the grocery store any time of the year and procure tomatoes, summer is the only time when you can get "real" tomatoes. Who makes a tomato sandwich in December? Or a tomato pie in February? Really. My anticipation of fresh Summer tomatoes is on par with Linus waiting for the Great Pumpkin. I kid you not. My mouth waters at the thought of white bread, Hellman's mayonnaise, sliced Summer tomatoes & a hint of salt. Now that's heaven. Pulling into the gravel lot of the farm stand causes my heart rate to increase a bit, anticipating the bounty I am about to behold. I get my bags full of tomatoes (who can leave with just one?) and rush home to my waiting loaf of white bread. If I close my eyes, I almost feel like a kid again, sitting at my mother's kitchen table eating that much loved summer treat. What are you waiting for? I'll see you at the farm stand.......
Here are two of my favorite tomato recipes (besides the tomato sandwich, of course); Cucumber & Tomato Salad and Tomato Pie. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!!
Cucumber & Tomato Salad
2 cucumbers, peeled & thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, peeled & sliced (*see note below on peeling tomatoes)
1 large vidalia onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp. dill
1 T white vinegar
2 tsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper (or to taste)
1/4 C parsley, chopped
2 T Canola oil
Put cucumbers, tomatoes & onions in large bowl. Combine remaining ingredients. Toss all together & chill two hours before serving.
*To peel a tomato. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Remove from heat. Carefully drop tomato into water for about 10 seconds. Remove from water & peel (the peel will easily pull off).
4 tomatoes, peeled & sliced
12 fresh basil leaves, chopped
3/4 cup thinly sliced vidalia onion
1 (9") pre-baked deep dish pie shell*
1 C grated mozzarella
1 C grated cheddar
1 C mayonnaise
salt & pepper to taste
Bake pie crust according to package directions. Set aside.
Place tomatoes on wire rack, sprinkle both sides with salt & let drain approximately 10 minutes.
Layer tomato, basil & onion in pie shell. Combine cheeses & mayonnaise. Spread over top.
Bake 350 degrees, 30 minutes.
*I use Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts found in the dairy section of the grocery store.