Whether you get fresh tomatoes while you are taking a stroll at one of the many farmer's markets in the city or picking them from your own home grown garden; there is no denying that summer tomatoes are the best. They are sweet and juicy, definitely better than candy!
Fresh herbs are another great perk of the summer months. I love growing my herbs and adding them as a garnish to everything I cook. They are also available in the market and very affordable this time a year.
Are you wondering where to go for fresh produce? There are numerous options around the city; a variety of days, locations, and schedules give you flexibility. On Tuesdays, visit the Eastside Farmer’s Market at Central Park from 4 pm to 7 pm. On Saturdays, you cannot miss Dane County Farmer’s Market on the Capitol Square 6:15 am to 1:45 pm. On Sundays, visit El Mercadito de Centro located in the parking lot of Centro Hispano from 1 pm to 4 pm. The Southside Farmer’s Market runs almost every day of the week in different locations, including Fridays at the Villager Mall from 2 pm to 6 pm. For a complete list of Farmer's Markets, visit the City of Madison Website www.cityofmadison.com
The idea of summer cooking is letting the available ingredients dictate what goes on your plate. Easy recipes that don't require a lot of time or heat, like this salad, are perfect. Enjoy this salad on a beautiful summer day, sitting by the lake or on your porch, while camping or staying in your backyard for the weekend, with a picnic at the park or as a side to your grilled chicken dinner. The only rule is to use tomatoes and herbs in season and let them shine by adding a quick homemade dressing to give them a nice punch. Let's get chopping!
2 pounds of a mix of a variety of tomatoes Herbs: Basil, Tarragon, Mint, Thyme, Parsley 1 shallot, thinly sliced For the dressing 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil Salt & pepper to taste
Cut the tomatoes into different shapes, depending on their size, quarter them or halving them lengthwise. Add them to the serving bowl. Using the tip of your fingers, tear the fresh herbs on top, scatter slices of shallots all over. To make the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk Dijon mustard and lemon juice. Add olive oil in a slow, steady stream while still whisking until it emulsifies. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over the salad and serve. Enjoy!
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