Fridays are frequently pizza night at my house. Although it is only barely the start of summer here in Georgia, today’s temp is supposed to hit 91! So there will not be any oven use in this house today.
What to do? A fresh tomato salad perched atop good crusty french or italian bread, drizzled with a fresh tomato vinaigrette and shaved parmesan. It is so good you’ll make it your summer go-to substitute for pizza.
If you are like my husband and must have meat with dinner, add a layer of prosciutto, salami or capicola. Or veg it out with antipasti by adding chopped olives, capers, pepperoncini and thinly sliced red onion.
Want more protein? Try adding cooked and cooled chickpeas or white beans or make a puree of the beans with some of the vinaigrette.
For my greens I used fresh basil and the pea shoots, blossoms and leaves from my withering pea plants. It’s a deliciously cool and easy peas-a and the vinaigrette takes only seconds to prepare!
Fresh Tomato Vinaigrette
1/4 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
small handful of fresh, rinsed basil leaves
Juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar
pinch sugar or honey
1/2 teaspoon each of salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 peeled and trimmed small clove of garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
Place all ingredients in the blender, except for the olive oil. Blend until tomatoes are completely broken down and mixture is liquefied.
Drizzle olive oil in gradually while blender is on low, cover and puree until emulsified. Use immediately, or refrigerate until serving.
If the vinaigrette separates, just shake or whisk it until mixed.
Don’t throw the lemon peel away! Add the grated zest of the lemon to the vinaigrette, or sprinkle over the salad. If not using the zest, store it in a plastic bag in the freezer to use later ~ I bake grated lemon zest into muffins for extra flavor.
If you’re craving real, hot homemade pizza and you don’t mind the heat, try my recipes!