Even here in Seattle, I think it is actually summer at last. The farmer’s market is full to bursting with a kaleidoscope of produce. I haven’t worn socks in two days. The cat stretches out in the shade and watches me water the garden through nearly closed eyes. And we are eating strawberries of such a deep, saturated red that they redefine the color.
At this time of year I don’t really have much interest in cooking, per se. I want something quick, usually a salad, and I want tomatoes at every meal.
Oh, those summer tomatoes. I love them all. The yellow, orange, and red of them. The mild ones and the tart ones. The delicate skins that want to split before you can even get them in the house for a quick rinse. The juice that threatens to spill over so that I eat them over the sink with salt shaker in hand.
This salad is just right for the lazy days of summer. Easy, cool, tangy with vinegar, and a perfect vehicle for fresh-picked tomatoes.
Caprese Salad with Conchigle
- 8 oz Conchigle (or other short pasta)
- 2-3 heirloom tomatoes, chopped
- 4 oz fresh mozzarella, cubed
- ½ cup basil chiffonade
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Cook pasta just to al dente, drain, and rinse in cold water until chilled. Stack basil leaves, roll into a tube, and thinly slice. Toss pasta with oil and vinegar, stir in tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, then salt and pepper to taste.