Meatless Monday: Heirloom tomato tartine

Eat the last of summer's tomatoes while you can.

The Rowdy Chowgirl
Drizzle tomatoes with olive oil and layer with mozzarella cheese and fresh basil leaves on French bread and then broil for a delicious open-faced sandwich.

There have been picnics, but not enough. There was an afternoon at the beach with the setting sun unfurling a spangled ribbon across Puget Sound, and lazy Sundays watching the sailboats on Lake Union, and time spent lying on a blanket staring up into the fluttering leaves of summer trees. We ate on restaurant patios every chance we got.

But I haven’t gotten full use out of the hammock for this year, and we haven’t grilled enough, and frankly, I am not ready for fall just yet. I need just a few more weeks of sunshine.

At the farmer’s market this Saturday, it was obvious that we are teetering on a razor’s edge between summer and fall. The sunshine warmed the top of my head. There were still berries, but more apples and pears. Boxes of gourds cozied up next to piles of sweet corn.

This is the time of year when tomatoes come into their own in Seattle. After a long, cool summer, we finally have tomatoes of every color, heavy and fragrant, filled with warmth and sunlight. The utmost care is needed to get them home without splitting, and they will not tolerate long storage. The simplest preparation is the best way to enjoy the range of heirloom tomato flavors – some tart, others sweet or mild.

These tartines are made with only a few ingredients, so don’t skimp on the quality of the bread and mozzarella. And hurry before tomato season is over.

Heirloom Tomato Tartine

Close grained French bread, sliced
Sliced heirloom tomatoes
Fresh mozzarella
Basil leaves
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground pepper

Run bread under the broiler to toast lightly on the top side only. Layer slices of tomatoes, thinly sliced mozzarella cheese, and basil leaves. Stir oil and vinegar together, then drizzle lightly over tartines. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper.

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