I will always remember the night that Joe and I spent in Italy under the starts of an old patio with 4 other strangers and a chef enjoying hot bread and pasta that we had just prepared all together from our cooking class. It was one of those nights you see in a movie. Laughing and cooking, learning to make dough in an old brick Italian kitchen. (Of course it was that much better after a historic vineyard tour). Food never tasted so good outside on a cool summer night. Olive trees and grate vines all around you. When I’m having a rough day I just think of that night sometimes and I am instantly relaxed.
When I have friends over I desperately try to recreate that feeling. The feelings of being totally relaxed, laughing and just enjoying mother nature with each other. Gatherings of friends are a treat these days and when we had girls night a couple of weeks ago it was nothing short of magical. I had just enough tomatoes to pick from the garden to whip up this dish and luckily had stocked up on baguettes from a trip to the farmers markets (store them in the freezer!). Everything in this dish was from the garden or farmers market with the exception of the extra virgin organic olive oil.
This dish is simple and is easily tossed together but does grow in intensity the longer you let it rest. I made this about 3 hours before my guests arrived.
5 large tomatoes or enough to cover your baking dish.
2/3 cups of olive oil
4 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp of finely diced sweet onions
1 large clove of garlic minced
2 tbsp minced parsley
2 tbsp minced basil
8 ounces of fresh soft goat cheese
salt and pepper
layer the sliced tomatoes in a serving dish. Combine all of the ingredients except the goat cheese and pour over the tomatoes. Allow to marinate in the fridge at least 2 hours. Before you serve allow to come to room temperature and sprinkle goat cheese over the tomatoes. Serve with crusty bread on the side.
This is good for about 24 hours in the fridge but I doubt it will last that long. It’s the perfect light summer dish to serve on a hot late summer night.