Friday, June 15, 2012

Healthy and Italian: Not an Oxymoron

I really love bringing food to families just after they've had a new baby. One of my single friends once told me that she would have a baby just so I'd make her lasagna. I don't know that it's worth pushing a tiny human out of your vag and then raising it for 18 years (and supporting it financially indefinitely) just for a Gina-made meal. But I appreciate the sentiment.

I recently brought some food to a couple who had their first child, and they said they like Italian and healthy food. I had a childhood of Nutella, white bread, and chicken parm, so I know fully well that these two categories do not often go together. But they are not mutually exclusive. Italian food is often healthy, as long as you don't fry things or smother them in chocolate-hazelnut butter.

The solution, then, was to make a variation on my grandmother's exquisite tomato salad recipe. It is one of my favorite dishes. Ever. It's simply tomatoes, garlic, onions, olive oil, salt, and basil. The beauty of it is when the olive oil mixes with the tomato juice. Italian families fight over the last bits of bread so they can sop up this tomato-olive oil juice after eating the salad.

For this meal, I used the rest of the lovely yellow tomatoes, along with some classic reds. I also added the last of Karen's cucumbers. I mixed them with straight-from-Georgia Vidalia onions and garlic, plus more basil also from Karen's garden. It is summer incarnated into food. Here are the glamor shots:

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