Monday, August 23, 2010

Tomatoes with Balsamic Dressing: A Recipe of Timelessness

Wow, you guys. It’s crunch time. There are less than two weeks to go before our nuptials, and Husband-Elect and I are up to our eyeballs in place cards, strappy shoes (him not me) and various tulle-embellished paraphernalia. The cat must be wondering when he wandered off the streets and on to the set of My Big Fat Swedish Wedding.

If you're unfamiliar with the process, planning a large wedding is slightly less logistically complicated than the Rebel Alliance’s attack on the Death Star. But only slightly. We’re attempting to maintain so many piles of Stuff and spreadsheets and word documents (in Gill Sans, The Official Font of Soon-to-be-Married People), any thought of cooking has perished along with the idea of a comfortable, but supportive bra. I am suddenly very thankful for my years working as an Associate Producer, where the daily tracking of data/minutae rivaled that of the Pentagon.

What I’m trying (rather longwindedly) to say is this: we’re eating things that require as little effort and forethought as humanly possible.

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? Awesome!

Spaghetti and jarred sauce! A little involved, but okay!

Candle wax? Is it flavored? Sure!

It’s times like these when simple, 10-second salads are vital to preserving any semblance of health. What’s more, they provide variety for a palate increasingly accustomed to tortillas spread with mustard.

Take Tomatoes with Balsamic Dressing. I threw it together for lunch yesterday, and man, it hit the spot. It sated my craving for fresh food and salt, and felt way more substantial than a reg-oo-lar green salad.

Just – you gotta know: The quality of TwBD is entirely dependent on the quality of your tomatoes. You could go at it with anemic supermarket Romas, which will surely be less expensive, or you could opt for greenmarket dealies, which may cost a little more, but will elevate the dish immeasurably. In this case, option #2 was our girl, and it made all the difference.

And now, back to wedding planning. Maybe later, there will be time for some frozen peas and chipotle sauce. *Fingers crossed*


If this looks good to you, these might look, uh, just as good:

Tomatoes with Balsamic Dressing
Serves 1

1 1/2 ripe plum tomatoes
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Stem tomatoes and cut them into eighths. Place them in a small bowl. Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine. Serve.

Approximate Calories, Fat, Fiber, Protein, and Price Per Serving
58 calories, 4.7 g fat, 1.1 g fiber, 0.8 g protein, $0.98

1 1/2 ripe plum tomatoes: 17 calories, 0.2 g fat, 1.1 g fiber, 0.8 g fiber, $0.92
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil: 39 calories, 4.5 g fat, 0 g fiber, 0 g protein, $0.04
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar: 2 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g fiber, 0 g protein, $0.01
Kosher salt: negligible calories, fat, fiber, protein, $0.01
Freshly ground black pepper: negligible calories, fat, fiber, protein, $0.01
TOTALS/PER SERVING: 58 calories, 4.7 g fat, 1.1 g fiber, 0.8 g protein, $0.98

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wosnes said...

I'm so glad I had a small wedding (less than 20 people). I'm encouraging my daughters to do the same -- or elope!

Congratulations on the upcoming nuptials.

Anonymous said...

I'm with wosness here -- small is excellent! However, Kris, your comments on the fast approaching nuptials are a riot! But I wouldn't blame you for taking a couple of weeks off from blogging...

DessertForTwo said...

Good luck with the planning! :)

Jack Bronson said...

Hi Kris, read the article and I've got to say I like it! Good dressing can make any veggies taste amazing, and if the dressing is healthy it's a double bonus. Congratulations on your approaching nuptials! Sounds like fun!

- Jack Bronson | Workout without Weights

Sarah said...

I'm a new reader to your blog and find myself addicted--have already forwarded a few posts to friends. But, having experienced the craziness of getting married, I agree that you deserve a posting hiatus. Good luck!

Edward Antrobus said...

During this time of year, a dish I make about once per week is a quick homemade tomato mozzarella salad. I use fresh picked cherry tomatoes and basil from my garden and mix it with a bit of olive oil, shredded mozzarella, salt & pepper. There is ALWAYS shredded cheddar & mozzarella in my refrigerator.

~2 dozen cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
handful of basil leaves, chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together. Can be eaten immediately or chilled.

chacha1 said...

or turn it into a caprese with halved cherry (or grape) tomatoes, halved fresh "pearl" mozzarella, chiffonaded fresh basil, olive oil and balsamic. I've had this for dinner many a time when I didn't mind spending a few minutes with a knife but just couldn't face cooking.

DJ Fuzzy said...

Want this just a little lighter? Leave out the oil. I alternate between using balsamic and white wine vinegar. Personally, I tend to prefer the white wine vinegar.


Marie said...

I love this! I have a ton of tomatoes to eat up from my garden and this is such a quick easy way to make a nice snack! Thanks!

Leslie said...

This is wonderful! I find myself craving it 3 days later...