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It took us 11 hours to get out of the house today. Does that happen to families that don’t have little children running around everywhere? I can’t remember. I don’t think so.There was playing to do in the back yard, the baby wanted to be rocked while she slept, and the bigger kids took long naps in the late afternoon. Meanwhile, we picked through our blueberries (tiny snails were hiding in their blossom ends) and got a pot of blueberry jam simmering. The children tasted it many, many times. It doesn’t sound busy, does it? Today, it was all-consuming. We got to the park with all our bikes and scooters in the evening, just in time to ride the lakefront loop and have a picnic dinner on our girls’ favorite hidden beach at sunset.
We had a very good salad. It was that lime-drenched Summer Crunch Salad with Feta and Mint, have you been making that? I can’t get enough. I’ve been making it all summer. Tonight’s combination included romaine, radishes, sweet corn, and a fresh Walla Walla onion. So good. Anyway, you already have that recipe, so let’s move on.
Today’s salad recipe, which was yesterday’s salad at our house, calls for the unusual-but-perfect combination of tomatoes and nectarines. It’s a salad for serving at home, because you’ll want to be able to arrange it prettily and deliver it right to the table.This salad has been in the back of my mind since 2009, when Mark Bittman published a lovely compilation of 101 Summer Salads in which he sang the praises of salads combining tomatoes and peaches. (He actually wrote several fun and breezy guides to summer cooking, including 101 Ten-Minute Summer Meals, 101 Fast Recipes for Grilling, 101 Appetizers in Twenty Minutes or Less, and 101 Twenty Minute Recipes for Inspired Picnics.) (Sorry, hope you didn’t have anything else you were planning to accomplish today.) (Are multiple consecutive parentheticals even a thing? Did I just invent that? Why don’t other writers use this cop-out?)
Bittman’s praise of the tomato-and-peach combination is richly deserved, and nectarines and tomatoes are an equally delightful combination. I used nectarines this time because they were sweet and perfect at the moment I wanted to make this salad. You can use whichever fruit you like.
Tomato and Nectarine Salad with Basil: Choose a few fragrant tomatoes and nectarines and cut them into similar-sized slices or wedges. Drizzle with olive oil and sherry vinegar and shower with thinly-sliced basil.