You’ve still got time to serve fresh tomatoes; at least we do here in Normandy. And if we have tomatoes on the vine here, chances are there are gorgeous fresh tomatoes everywhere.
I’ve included a picture here of my favorite new dish, Tomato Tubes with Mozarella. Think about other things you might do with those fresh tomatoes now too, that hint more towards fall than summer. For instance, last night I cooked fresh shell beans with fresh tomatoes and garlic to make a sort of ragout; you might add a fresh tomato dice seasoned with olive oil and herbs to warm lentils and pork sausage right before you serve it; think about making your last few fresh mayonnaise and tomato sandwiches, with some basil or flat-leaf parsley leaves from the garden.
Soon enough we’ll move along to all the joys of winter foods, so enjoy those tomatoes while they last!
TOMATO TUBES WITH MOZARELLA
CYLINDRES DE TOMATOES AU MOZARELL
5 large, ripe but not soft, tomatoes
(beef heart, green zebra, or other flavorful variety), cored
1 generous tablespoon balsamic vinegar
8 ounces (250g) buffalo mozzarella
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
The zest from ½ lemon
Extra virgin olive oil
Fleur de sel
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Slice off one end of each tomato. Using an apple corer, cut as many tubes from the tomatoes as you can. As you release a tomato tube, place it on one of four small plates, in a wide ring. Make sure that some of the tubes are on their sides, and some are standing up, if possible.
2. Slice the mozzarella into ¼-inch thick slices. Cut the slices in half.
3. Arrange the mozzarella slices in the center of 4 plates, so they are surrounded by the tomato tubes.
4. Drizzle the tomato tubes with the balsamic vinegar.
5. Drizzle the tomatoes and the mozzarella with the olive oil.
6. Dice the lemon zest and sprinkle it over the mozzarella. Strew the thyme leaves over all, and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, or you can let this sit for up to 30 minutes before serving.