Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Colors of Summer

The great thing about summer when it comes to food is the abundance of fruits-- mangoes, watermelon, cantaloupe. Succulent and oh-so-sweet.
Another favorite fruit of mine is... tomato!
Red, ripe, juicy and really cheap! You can buy them as low as P15.00 per kilo!

When we went for grocery one weekend, it was only P17.00! I got really excited and I bought around 4 kilos--much to my husband's surprise. 1 kilo was oven-roasted with olive oil and 2 kilos were stewed, peeled and popped into the freezer for future pasta sauces. The rest were for cooking.

Many,many years ago, I had a client, a vegetarian who had tomato as filling for her sandwich. I said to myself-- "yan lang???!" Then, I just could not fathom the thought of tomato as filling sans the bacon,lettuce and a bit of mayo. Just tomato! Which is usually, neglected and rejected, usually reserved as side dish if not decoration. Why would anybody eat it that plain?
Today, I don't tire of it. On Sunday brunches, I have to have mine grilled. Sliced in half, sprinkled with a little parmesan, or just salt and pepper-- in the toaster oven it goes, till half cooked, the skin wrinkled and easy to peel off. Goes well with rice and viand or newly toasted bread and some other yummy toppings like spanish sardines.

Here is an easy snack pick-me-upper. A jumble of many textures that party in my mouth. Satisfying but not fattening. My summer tomato sandwich:

  • small baguette or slice of french bread. (it can be plain or whole wheat)
  • pesto sauce (about 2-3 spoonfulls)
  • 2 big tomatoes, in thick slices
  • cheese slivers (cheese of your choice. Here I used swiss cheese. I also like emmenthal)

Put tomato slices on a pre-heated teflon pan. Pan grill it till soft. Split open the baguette and toast till crunchy on the outside. A really good french bread or baguette for me is one that is crunchy on the outside, with a bit of chewiness on the inside. Spread it with pesto. Layer with grilled tomatoes and top with slivered cheese.
A no-brainer! It's so easy to do!

Dig in and enjoy the crunchiness of the baguette, paired with the warm, juicy, sweet-yet-with-a-hint-of-sourness-tomato. Add to that the kick of the pesto, fragrant with basil and garlic. This to me is the perfect example of healthy and yet flavorful food. Most of all, it is absolutely enjoyable. I actually close my eyes when I get the first bite.

If you want to share, you can cut the french bread into rounds and turn them into crostinis. Spread with basil, top with grilled tomato and finish off with shaved cheese.

Yellow, red, greed--the colors of summer on my plate :-)


  1. Hi Marie,
    May I sign up for classes with you?
    Ninang Harvey

  2. Hi - Thanks for recommending using a Teflon pan while making your tomato slices. I represent DuPont and it's always a pleasure to see people recommending our products in their recipes.

    If you are interested in some other recipes or great cookbooks to look at for your blog, drop me an email and I would be glad to help you out! Thanks. Cheers, Ross