Journalling Nostalgia, Summer Plans And My Rustic Italian Heirloom Tomato Salad

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A cloudy day and I have the entire day off to enjoy it.  We’ve slowly eased back into our daily schedules. A month away is enough time to form a habit, ours in Italy being sleeping in and gelato for dessert every night. Luckily I only worked 2 days this week and now have another 4 off.  Time for being home and home cooked meals.  After all the pasta we ate I’ve been craving fruits and veggies.  I’ve made a different salad every night. This is one of my Summer favourites: colourful heirloom tomatoes, Italian herbs and a sweet homemade vinaigrette.

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I make this salad in advance and let it sit in the vinaigrette for at least an hour to absorb the flavours.  Last night I served it with parmesan oven roasted Brussel sprouts and sliced buttery soft wagyu beef my husband grilled to medium rare perfection.

For the vegetables:

  • 3 large ripe heirloom tomatoes (or whichever you prefer)
  • 1 pinch brown sugar
  • 1/2 Field or English Cucumber
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 garlic cloves pressed
  • 2 tsps brown sugar
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

Instructions

  •  Cut tomatoes into wedges and place into a large bowl, sprinkle with a pinch of brown sugar, salt, and pepper, and toss really well.
  • Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise, then slice it into 1/4″ thick slices. Add the cucumbers to the tomatoes.
  • Slice half the red the onion into very thin slivers crosswise and add to cucumbers and tomatoes. Add the chopped parsley and cilantro and add to salad.
  • To prepare the dressing, throw all of the dressing ingredients into a small bowl and whisk together vigorously, until well blended.
  • Pour half of the dressing over the vegetables and toss gently using both hands. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature until ready to serve, for at least 1 hour This will allow the flavours to meld together. After serving you can refrigerate the leftovers for up to 3 days.

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Life on the coast. We will sit this weekend with our calendar and plan our weekends away.  Camping, fishing, sunsets cooking around the fire while blue dragonflies glide over a sparkling lake.  This Summer we want to do more wilderness camping. We bought a truck for this reason.  A vehicle we can drive deep into the bush with and sleep in the back.  A while ago while researching the best fishing lakes I found a blog about Nanton Lake, I think this is one camping trip we’ll do.  To get to Nanton you have to take the ferry from Vancouver to the Sunshine coast. You then drive to Egmont and take another ferry to Powell River.  From Powell river you have to drive a logging road and it is advised you drive it early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid the massive logging trucks that have the right of way (ie: they can’t stop if you cross them)

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This week Yankee Candle Co. had their yearly sale.  All of their large jar candles at 50% off.  I took advantage to stock up on my favourite classics and thinking ahead for Fall I ordered Vanilla Cupcake, Macintosh (which I only light in September during the apple harvest),  Mountain Lodge (that smells like a delicious man. Cologny with hints of Cedarwood) and a new scent I’ve never tried: Autumn Lodge (with hints of tobacco and old leather).  I do enjoy Summer but on a grey day like today, something inside of me longs for the crisp air and long nights of Autumn.

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Thinking about Autumn makes me nostalgic but in a really good way. I still remember the plaid skirt and cable knit sweater I bought for my first day of school in grade 4.  After long hot summer vacations it felt exciting to start the new school year. Septembers in Ontario (where I was born) meant warm clothes, the smell of erasers, plastic pencil cases and fresh notebooks with empty pages waiting to be filled with hand coloured maps and creative writing. One of my favourite memories from childhood was running home after school, a slice of warm buttery toast and chocolate milk for a snack to enjoy on the couch while watching Scooby Doo. I climbed into bed last night and found some of the original episodes on Youtube.  So cozy!

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Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.  I leave you with a photo we purchased from an artist in Barcelona.  Taken in the Gothic Quarter, I’ve put it on the coffee table until I can buy frames for a project I am planning with our travel photos.

Until next time.

Love,

Jennifer

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. trkingmomoe says:

    Great recipe. It looks good. Enjoy your camping.

    Like

    1. Thank you for reading! ..and looking forward to getting some nice nature shots while camping to share.

      Like

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