By Freya Bellin
As the days of summer near their end, I think most of us wish we had just one more weekend at the beach, or one more week before schools starts. But, almost as a reward for going back to reality, we do get something wonderful this time of year: tomatoes. And they never disappoint. Plump, juicy, multi-colored, and funny-shaped, early-September tomatoes are a sweet way to say goodbye to summer.
The simpler, the better, when it comes to using ultra-fresh tomatoes in cooking. I love this tomato carpaccio because it sounds so basic, but the flavors come together in a bright, zesty way. I went for the mozzarella variation, which takes a classic combination like tomato and mozzarella and adds a surprise element of peppery arugula, rather than the standard basil. The simple salt, pepper, and olive oil seasoning complements this salad perfectly. Just proof that when you have amazing produce, it speaks for itself. Recipe from The Food Matters Cookbook.
Makes: 4 servings
Time: 10 minutes
No, it’s not “real” carpaccio, but the word is perfectly descriptive here. As you might expect, big, fleshy beefsteak tomatoes are the way to go. (In any case make sure your knife is sharp.)
You can treat other shaved or super thinly sliced vegetables the same way, especially fennel, radishes, (seeded) cucumbers, kohlrabi, small turnips, beets, and parsnips.
4 ripe beefsteak or other large tomatoes (about 3 pounds), thinly sliced
Salt and black pepper
4 cups arugula, watercress, mâche, or other tender, flavorful greens
2 tablespoons olive oil, or more if you like
Shaved Parmesan cheese, for garnish
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1. Spread out the tomato slices to cover individual plates or a serving platter in a thin layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then top with the greens and season again. Drizzle the oil over all.
2. Scatter the shaved Parmesan on top and serve with the lemon wedges.
Tomato Carpaccio with Mozzarella. Use really good fresh mozzarella and make sure it’s really cold (and your knife is sharp). Slice 4 ounces mozzarella cheese as thinly as you can and layer the pieces among the tomatoes.