Summer is a time of simplicity.
I’ve been trying to simplify on multiple fronts lately — cutting away unnecessary complications. Somehow, though, every time I trim away one complicating factor in life, at least one other springs forth whence it came. Life is a complex garden to tend.
Food, on the other hand, does genuinely get simpler during the summer months. The bounty of the season serves up a riot of colors and flavors that need only a gentle hand to bring forth their already robust offerings.
I adore the heirloom tomatoes we get here in the Bay Area. I won’t get into the seemingly neverending dialog about whether our tomatoes are better or worse than those back east — like corn, my memories are of richly-flavored vegetables that I have yet to parallel out here — but rather suggest that these are an entirely different creature, worthy in their own way and on their own merits.
While maybe not as burstingly flavorful as New Jersey romas (to say nothing of genuine San Marzanos from the slopes of Vesuvius), they do have a wonderful, bright acidity and, of course, a particularly charming appearance. I love their gnarled, bulbous shapes and pastel colors. especially the ones that seem to bleed from a cheery yellow to dusky sunset pink. Skyblue-pink, my grandmother used to call that color.