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Friday, August 31, 2012

Family Faves {tomatoes & sweet basil salad}

Good golly it has been a while since I've posted a family fave!

My papa is having a bumper crop of tomatoes this year.  And I was so very happy to have a special delivery of cherry, grape and early girl tomatoes.  But they needed to be used soon.

A fresh tomato salad is surprisingly (or not) a side dish that most of my kiddos love!  It's so simple and so fast to make!  Even the ones that aren't huge tomato fans like it!  And really?  Does it get better than my kiddos chowing down on tomatoes?  Yes, it does because it's easy and fast for super-busy me to make, and cheap too when tomatoes are on sale!  The trifecta of mommy food prep!
Honestly I need something healthy to balance out the chili dogs that I served for dinner last night.

Both Jude and Sunny love tomatoes and eat them like candy!  I love that.
The orange fingernail polish?
Goodness how does she continue to get cuter?
We start with fresh tomatoes.  (never refrigerated or tomatoes lose flavor and the texture changes)
Chop 'em up

Encourage Mimi to eat a couple little grape tomatoes.  And it's not like she doesn't like them, but she's not a huge fan of tomatoes... yet.
I try to keep fresh basil growing year round, because...
...I'm far too cheap to buy the fresh stuff at the store.
...I'm also far too lazy too drive to the store when I need some.
...dried basil just doesn't hack it in most instances's an easy plant to grow in a pot, and the littles just love to grow anything!
...I use it all the time.

Then I add some coarsely chopped up some basil.
Yes, that is Mimi sitting on the counter with her shoes on right next to where I'm preparing food.  We subscribe to the theory that extra germs help build our immunity system.  Still keeping her close, and it's often where she prefers to be at this busy time of day.  
Sprinkle on some salt, (I prefer Kosher or sea salt for this salad) and gently toss it together.

Drizzle on some EVOO and balsamic vinegar.
A few minutes later, ('cause that's how much time I often have to make a side dish for dinner) and it's done!

Pretty hu?

If I had some mozzarella lying around, I would chop it up and add it too.  But honestly, my food budget is super tight, and it doesn't have to be in there to make the salad super yummy.  

Mimi, who would only eat 2 grape tomatoes when I was preparing the salad, ate 3 servings at dinner, and there wasn't even a single bite left in the serving bowl by the time dinner was done.  

Score one for the crazy mama! 


  1. We have lots of fresh tomatoes so this looks like a winner for us too! I loved all the photos. Red is such a great color for pictures :)

  2. yum!! we have so many tomatoes we eat them at every meal.

  3. That looks delicious. Unfortunately, I'm the only one in our household that likes tomatoes.

    1. I make them for myself for lunch all the time!

  4. YUM!!! Tell me more about this basil growing??? Is it really that easy??? I never thought of growing indoors year-round!

    OK, the counter spot! US TOO! Baby girl is either in the carrier on my back while I make dinner (I am very careful with hot stuff out of her reach) or she is seated on the counter in the corner away from the edge and against the wall surrounding our bar. Too funny! I get you on that and the shoes--I'm with you there too.

    1. I think it depends on where you live. I grow mine outside year round because we live in a mild climate. It only freezes a few days a year and I just put the pots under cover during a freeze. I have no experience growing it indoors.
      But I do have to replant twice a year. Right now I have small seedlings popping up. And again in the late spring. I just throw the seeds from the plants in to a separate pot and start watering it when I'm ready for a fresh plant.
      It is a super easy herb to grow. It takes some neglect and still grows.

  5. I need to make this soon! To bad my basil plant died.. I wonder if I will get any in my produce bag this week!


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