Labor Day is the last gasp of Summer. No more shorts, time to put away my sunscreen, Tony’s speedo must go up on the shelf (just kidding). What better way to celebrate the end of the season with an old-fashioned cookout (not “a barbecue” Northerners, you eat barbecue, you eat at a cookout)? Our friends Molly and Brian hostessed and hosted respectively a great cookout featuring so many smoked meats, vegetarians around the world cried out in pain. I could have lived in that smoker next to the ribs and chicken.
So, what to bring to a spread like this? I wanted to make something light, refreshing, and somewhat seasonal. One thing came to mind: Tomatoes!! Thanks to Gotham Gal, I found a great recipe: http://www.gothamgal.com/gotham_gal/2009/08/tomato-salad.html
I love a quick and easy recipe, slicing up the tomatoes was the most labor intensive part. Unfortunately, I did not have time to go to the N.C. Farmer’s Market and find some nice yellow tomaters. I needed a little color, so I added a sweet yellow pepper and avocado. I honestly believe that there are three things you can add to anything to make a dish better; garlic, bacon, and avocado.
Overall, the salad turned out nicely. It’s good that Joanne tells you to not add the dressing right away, because it could have made the tomatoes soggy if they sat in the dressing for too long before serving. I think I had a little too much olive oil and not enough vinegar, but the flavors were nice and the shallots added a nice bite. I think next time I might try some cilantro or citrus for extra brightness. Even when the sky outside turned gray and cloudy, I hope my salad helped make things a little sunnier.