Not four years ago, I hated tomatoes. I couldn't eat them raw, and certainly would never eat them like an apple with, say, salt and pepper, like my mom and my aunt used to do with my grandpa's home grown heirloom tomatoes. Just the smell would make me gag, when I was a kid. And then, I had a bloody mary. And then another bloody mary. And the curse of a tomato free lifestyle was lifted.
I still have little experience cooking or chopping tomatoes, and I still shy away from purchasing them when they aren't in season, so, what now? what do I do with all of these tomatoes?
I found this recipe in Martha Stewart FOOD (I know, that's really boring) for a tomato and goat cheese salad, with a pesto vinagrette. But as much as I now love a caprese-esque tomato salad, I needed something a little more substantial. Here is what I did:
This can be served hot or cold, but if you toss the goat cheese with the pasta while it's hot, it will melt and be more of a cheesy consistency. If you toss it over the top of individual servings while hot, or toss it in as a cold salad, there will be larger chunks of goat cheese-y goodness.
Tomato and Goat Cheese warm pasta salad with Basil Vinaigrette
2 large heirloom tomatoes, cored and chopped into large chunks
3 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
4 servings of fusilli pasta (see package) cooked and drained
1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil (plus an extra pour for mixing with the pasta)
2 TBSP champagne vinegar
sea salt and ground pepper to taste
1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and toss with a bit of olive oil, chopped fresh basil, and chopped tomatoes.
2. In a blender, combine basil, oil, vinegar, and 1 TBSP water. Blend until smooth, 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Toss fusilli/tomato mixture with basil vinaigrette and distribute into bowls. Sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese and serve.
Now I'm hungry again.