Potato and (yellow) cherry tomato salad

How a bumper crop of apartment garden tomatoes survived the squirrels this year.

Blue Kitchen
Fingerling potatoes and cherry tomatoes tossed with a lively mustard vinaigrette.

Today's post is written by Terry Boyd's wife, Marion.

Summer is drawing to a close – we have a real blanket on the bed, we are wearing sweaters in the evening, and we are casting around for ways to use the bits and bobs that we harvest here from our apartment garden. The nation’s corn crop may have suffered this year, but our tomato crop is record-breaking. Outside, we have just a tiny scrap of ground under cultivation, but it is giving us a quart of cherry tomatoes every day, on bad days – and that is to ignore the big tomatoes, which are coming in with a vengeance.

And friends, I have also figured out how to beat the local squirrels. It’s been years of frustration, featuring comical shots of me, in various inappropriate garments, yelling even more inappropriate things at squirrels as they frisk up ahead with fat ripe red tomatoes in their clever jaws. But, because every year I rotate a different tomato variety into the mix, I stumbled on an answer: yellow. In our neighborhood, the squirrels do not recognize yellow tomatoes as food. Red tomatoes, yes. Peppers, berries, French fries, apples, yes. But yellow tomatoes, for no reason I understand, are safe. This year I planted only yellow varieties, and now we have a bumper crop, small and large, pear-shaped and round, all of them luscious, well-balanced explosions of acid and sweet, and not one meddling squirrel has touched them. Not. One.

Victory.

We thought of this recipe on the fly as part of a recent weekend barbecue. We’ve got tomatoes! We’ve got potatoes! We’ve got 30 minutes! It’s one of those dishes that is so simple, it is almost not a recipe, but a description.

Potato and Cherry Tomato Salad
  Serves 4 to 6

30 fingerling potatoes, mixed red and white
A pint of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
Chives

For the vinaigrette:
 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
 2 tablespoons olive oil
 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
 Salt and freshly ground black pepper
 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence

Wash the little tomatoes and cut them in half. Our version uses Sun Gold tomatoes, our favorite, but use the ones you like best. A mix of little heirlooms, red, yellow, purple, would be very handsome.

Make the vinaigrette by whisking all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Set it aside.

Choose fingerling potatoes that are all about the same size, nice unbruised ones without eyes. Don’t peel them. Put them in a pan, cover generously with cold water, bring to a boil, and simmer for five to seven minutes, depending on the size, until they are just tender.

When they are cooked, drain them and plunge into cold water for a minute so you can handle them. Cut each in half lengthwise and place in a medium bowl.

Pour the dressing over the potatoes – use just enough to coat the potatoes, not so much that it pools in the bottom of the bowl. Save any extra dressing for another salad.

Set aside a few tomato halves for garnish. Carefully pour the rest into the potato salad bowl, and very gently fold everything together.

Garnish with the remaining tomatoes, snip some chives over the salad and serve. That’s it.

This is also really wonderful the next day, cold from the fridge.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.