Tomatoes aren’t typically associated with winter, but February brings plenty of this tasty fruit in the Southeast, where I live. One of the great things about tomatoes is that you really don’t have to do much to make them amazing. Let the tomato shine, that’s what I always say (okay, I don’t really say that but tomatoes can truly stand on their own).
I’ve got two quick side dishes using tomatoes that I am sure you’ll enjoy. Both are served chilled or at room temperature. Another plus is that you can make them ahead of time, which reduces the stress of getting the entire meal prepared all at once.
Today I’m sharing an easy Caprese salad recipe. Arugula is also in season, so I use that to make my pesto. The homemade pesto really adds something without taking a lot of time to make, so give it a shot!
This serves four people, and I like to pair it with either chicken parmesan or a grilled steak. Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for another 10-minute side dish utilizing seasonal tomatoes.
2 beefsteak or vine ripe tomatoes
5 oz. buffalo mozzarella ball
4 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1 tablespoon fresh garlic
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt
5 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Combine pine nuts, garlic, black pepper, salt, arugula and lemon juice in a blender or food processor. Blend for 1 minute, slowly adding the olive oil, and increasing the speed to achieve your desired texture. The pesto will keep for a week in the refrigerator.
Cut tomatoes into 1/4-inch slices. Do the same with the mozzarella ball. Alternate tomato slices and mozzarella slices. Drizzle 1/4 cup of pesto sauce over it and serve.