Monday, August 23, 2010

Tomatoes with Balsamic Dressing: A Recipe of Timelessness

Wow, you guys. It’s crunch time. There are less than two weeks to go before our nuptials, and Husband-Elect and I are up to our eyeballs in place cards, strappy shoes (him not me) and various tulle-embellished paraphernalia. The cat must be wondering when he wandered off the streets and on to the set of My Big Fat Swedish Wedding.

If you're unfamiliar with the process, planning a large wedding is slightly less logistically complicated than the Rebel Alliance’s attack on the Death Star. But only slightly. We’re attempting to maintain so many piles of Stuff and spreadsheets and word documents (in Gill Sans, The Official Font of Soon-to-be-Married People), any thought of cooking has perished along with the idea of a comfortable, but supportive bra. I am suddenly very thankful for my years working as an Associate Producer, where the daily tracking of data/minutae rivaled that of the Pentagon.

What I’m trying (rather longwindedly) to say is this: we’re eating things that require as little effort and forethought as humanly possible.

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? Awesome!

Spaghetti and jarred sauce! A little involved, but okay!

Candle wax? Is it flavored? Sure!

It’s times like these when simple, 10-second salads are vital to preserving any semblance of health. What’s more, they provide variety for a palate increasingly accustomed to tortillas spread with mustard.

Take Tomatoes with Balsamic Dressing. I threw it together for lunch yesterday, and man, it hit the spot. It sated my craving for fresh food and salt, and felt way more substantial than a reg-oo-lar green salad.

Just – you gotta know: The quality of TwBD is entirely dependent on the quality of your tomatoes. You could go at it with anemic supermarket Romas, which will surely be less expensive, or you could opt for greenmarket dealies, which may cost a little more, but will elevate the dish immeasurably. In this case, option #2 was our girl, and it made all the difference.

And now, back to wedding planning. Maybe later, there will be time for some frozen peas and chipotle sauce. *Fingers crossed*


If this looks good to you, these might look, uh, just as good:


Tomatoes with Balsamic Dressing
Serves 1

1 1/2 ripe plum tomatoes
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Stem tomatoes and cut them into eighths. Place them in a small bowl. Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine. Serve.

Approximate Calories, Fat, Fiber, Protein, and Price Per Serving
58 calories, 4.7 g fat, 1.1 g fiber, 0.8 g protein, $0.98

1 1/2 ripe plum tomatoes: 17 calories, 0.2 g fat, 1.1 g fiber, 0.8 g fiber, $0.92
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil: 39 calories, 4.5 g fat, 0 g fiber, 0 g protein, $0.04
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar: 2 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g fiber, 0 g protein, $0.01
Kosher salt: negligible calories, fat, fiber, protein, $0.01
Freshly ground black pepper: negligible calories, fat, fiber, protein, $0.01
TOTALS/PER SERVING: 58 calories, 4.7 g fat, 1.1 g fiber, 0.8 g protein, $0.98

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