Heirloom Tomatoes with Garlic Scape and Basil Vinaigrette // A Thought For Food

My family is in full swing with our summer reading contest. This has been going on for years, ever since my sister and I were old enough to get through a Curious George book on our own. She always took it a bit more seriously than I did and would make it through at least a half a dozen by the end of the summer, while I’d get through one or two. It wasn’t until high school that I started getting competitive with her. After my senior year of high school, my parents took us to San Francisco for a week. While there is a lot that I remember from that trip (the Ghirardelli factory, walking through the Ferry Building Marketplace, dim sum in Chinatown), the two of us spent most of that trip with a book in front of our faces.

Between college and jobs and, you know, life, we’ve calmed things down a bit over the years. I no longer compete with my sister (a much faster reader than I am, I have no doubt she’ll get through more books), but I still love this tradition. There have been recent years where I’ve only gotten through a couple. In the month of June, however, I managed to finish three. The first was a YA novel (I didn’t know this until I’d already read a couple chapters and felt like it’d be the perfect book for a teenager) called Noggin. While the writing wasn’t very challenging and the story wasn’t terribly complex, the premise was creative and it had some strong characters.  The second was The Girl on the Train, which I found to be an engrossing mystery. The last was The Dinner, which, like The Girl on the Train, is told in the first person.

I’m currently making my way through All the Light We Cannot See. I won’t go into much detail about the plot, but I will say that the writing is some of the best, maybe the best, I’ve ever read. Every sentence is loaded with detail. That’s not to say that it’s verbose. Quite the opposite, in fact. Every word adds new depth to the experience, as if you’re watching a painting or a photograph being developed before your eyes. It’s a magnificent experience and I’m trying to take my time with the book so that I can savor it.

Of course, none of this has anything to do with tomatoes. Except that they both exist in the summer. I’ve been enjoying tomatoes in a variety of forms, but my favorite preparation is as a lightly dressed salad or sliced and served on top of rye bread. For this dish, I included garlic scapes two ways: in the dressing and simply sautéed. It’s nothing revolutionary, but, hey, it works.

Heirloom Tomatoes with Garlic Scape and Basil Vinaigrette // A Thought For Food
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  • July 6, 2015 - 8:50 am

    Tieghan - Your families summer reading sounds so fun! I need to try and do more of that!

    Love this salad, heirlooms are the best of the best! :)ReplyCancel

  • July 6, 2015 - 11:04 am

    Nik@ABrownTable - Haha, sibling competition, reading books on a trip! I think I’ve experienced that on family trips too,they make for good memories and conversations at family tables later on. Damn, a garlic scape vinaigrette sounds so good especially in tomato season. Lovely work, Brian!ReplyCancel

  • July 6, 2015 - 5:10 pm

    Liren - I love how you have kept up this tradition! I come from a family of readers, too, but we never threw down the gauntlet in this way – love the friendly competition. If anything, it’s a wonderful way to discover good books. I’m adding All the Light We Can Not See to my reading list, thank you for sharing this find!

    And like books, there’s nothing better in the summer than tomatoes. This is simple and gorgeous.ReplyCancel

  • July 6, 2015 - 7:58 pm

    Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence - Such a fun tradition. I have fond memories of summer reading back in NJ. Sometimes at my Aunt’s beach house, sometimes curled up on the couch in our living room (a room seldom used). I’ve been trying to read more books recently. Just started Game of Thrones, so I’ll be in this series for a while. Perhaps I’ll take a break to read All the Light We Cannot See. I would definitely take a break to have a bite of this salad. Looks so good :)!ReplyCancel

  • July 6, 2015 - 8:27 pm

    Carrie @Frugal Foodie Mama - This looks amazing! Like a sophisticated take on a caprese salad…. minus the mozzarella. 😉ReplyCancel

  • July 6, 2015 - 9:32 pm

    Julie @ Willow Bird Baking - This looks delicious! My summer reading right now is The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin. Very good so far!ReplyCancel

  • July 6, 2015 - 11:29 pm

    Nutmeg Nanny - I’ve been reading so much this summer too. I won’t mention which books because usually summer reading = trashy reading :) This tomato salad looks perfect for summer. I had myself a HUGE tomato and burrata salad for lunch that would tasted great with this garlic scape vinaigrette…yum!ReplyCancel

  • July 7, 2015 - 7:00 am

    Gina | Running to the Kitchen - There is nothing quite as delicious as simply dressed tomatoes in the summer. I’ve had heirloom cherry tomatoes, burrata and cucumber salads for 3 nights in a row now :)ReplyCancel

  • July 7, 2015 - 7:26 am

    Joanne - I LOVED The Dinner and All The Light We Cannot See. My brother was never much of a reader so summer reading contests just weren’t happening…it was so stressful for my mom to just get him to read the required reading for school every year!

    This dish is everything i want to be eating all summer long. Throw in some burrata and crusty bread and I’d call it dinner!ReplyCancel

  • July 7, 2015 - 9:31 am

    Cookin Canuck - Love the idea of the summer reading contest! And now I’m putting All the Light I Cannot See on my reading list. What a beautiful salad for summertime…perfect in its simplicity.ReplyCancel

  • July 7, 2015 - 9:36 am

    Stacey | Kitchen Serendipity - Great summer reading and a perfect summer salad!ReplyCancel

  • July 7, 2015 - 5:33 pm

    Meredith in sock monkey slippers - This is so divine looking! I want to dive in and lick the bowl clean! Thanks for the book thoughts – looks like I’m hitting up my kindle soon.ReplyCancel

  • July 8, 2015 - 3:09 am

    Thalia @ butter and brioche - Love love love this salad. SO perfect and fresh – ideal for Summer.ReplyCancel

  • July 8, 2015 - 5:13 am

    Sylvie - Simple is best when it comes to summer tomatoes and this salad is a perfect example of that.ReplyCancel

  • July 8, 2015 - 11:04 am

    Raquel @ My California Roots - I love how the most simple salads can be the most delicious. This looks like it truly celebrates the best of summer – ripe heirloom tomatoes. :)ReplyCancel

  • July 9, 2015 - 2:59 am

    Hannah - Hi!
    I would love to try this dish, though I’m not sure where I would buy garlic scapes from. What would you suggest if you can’t get your hands on the scapes?

  • July 10, 2015 - 4:52 pm

    sue|theviewfromgreatisland - The simplicity of this is just stunning!ReplyCancel

  • July 11, 2015 - 5:56 pm

    MissLilly - I love tomato in any shape or form, and now that it’s summer is a perfect excuse to add them everywhere. Love eating bread with tomato like in your recipe, it can also be the perfect side for any meat or fishReplyCancel

  • July 12, 2015 - 12:40 pm

    8 Food Blog Links We Love | VOX RECIPES - […] Peak-season heirloom tomatoes get a spicy, herby pesto made with basil and garlic scapes. (A Thought for Food) […]ReplyCancel

  • July 12, 2015 - 7:47 pm

    Jennifer - Garlic scape season is my most favorite time of year! This recipe looks delish. I usually use my scapes to make pesto but I’ll have to try out your dish :)ReplyCancel

  • July 14, 2015 - 2:19 pm

    Paula - bell'alimento - What a super cool tradition. I’ve got Girl on a Train in my que and hello these heirloom tomatoes are swoonworthy!ReplyCancel

  • September 2, 2015 - 12:02 am

    Chilled Plum Soup » A Thought For Food - […] but I felt like I’d covered all my bases recently with the dishes I’ve created using tomato, corn, cherries and berries. What was there left to do? I looked through the local market and saw […]ReplyCancel

Watermelon Shrub Spritzer // A Thought For Food

June has been an interesting month. I wasn’t expecting to be busier than I was in May, but, gosh darn, my butt has been kicked. In addition to all the projects, we also had things to celebrate. Eric’s birthday and our anniversary fall on the same week, so we went out to dinner not once, but three times to celebrate (hey, that’s how we roll). There were times when I thought, “You know what? Let’s just put this whole blog thing on hold for a few weeks.” But as soon as a little free time presented itself, I was in the kitchen, my camera not too far out of reach. I just can’t help myself.

I’ve had this shrub in my head for months now. Ever since Tabasco contacted me about being a part of their Tastemaker Program, I knew that one recipe I’d want to develop was a shrub. Seems like a natural fit. One of the three major ingredients in a shrub is vinegar, as is the case with Tabasco’s hot sauce. A watermelon shrub immediately came to mind. It wasn’t until I tasted the final result, though, that I realized how perfectly it all came together. Yes, there’s a subtle kick, but what most stands out is the salt in the Tabasco that allows the sweetness of the watermelon to pop.

Tequila is my go-to spirit (Don’t get me wrong. I love bourbon and gin, but agave-based spirits are what I order most at bars). While I’m not one for a watermelon margarita, I felt like the shrub would be more of my scene; zingy, both in the heat from the Green Pepper hot sauce and the vinegar, a little sweet, as well as the green notes from the tequila and green pepper. What I wasn’t quite expecting was how addictive it would be. Especially on a hot summer day, these are dangerously easy to suck down. I guess that’s the sign of a successful cocktail.

I can’t end the post without sharing my delight in the news that the Supreme Court ruled to legalize same-sex marriages in all fifty states. It took me a few days to process everything. Eric and I are personally effected, because now we can go anywhere in the country and our marriage will be recognized by the state. But what really hit me hard was knowing that future generations won’t see gay couples as anything other than two people who love each other and, if they choose to do so, get married. That, for me, is a beautiful thing.

““All men are created equal. No matter how hard they try, they can never erase those words. That is what America is about.” -Harvey Milk

Watermelon Shrub Spritzer // A Thought For FoodWatermelon Shrub Spritzer // A Thought For FoodWatermelon Shrub Spritzer // A Thought For FoodWatermelon Shrub Spritzer // A Thought For FoodWatermelon Shrub Spritzer // A Thought For Food

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Tabasco. Over the course of the year, I will be creating recipes featuring the Tabasco Family of Flavors and this is the first of those posts. All opinions expressed on my site are my own.

You can check out my recap from my trip to visiting Tabasco here and my recipe for Smokey Shrimp Burgers here.

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  • June 29, 2015 - 11:02 am

    naomi - Yep, love my cocktails with a hit of spice. I never even thought to use Tabasco – such a great idea. I can’t wait to try it.ReplyCancel

  • June 29, 2015 - 11:07 am

    Cookin Canuck - I thought of you and Eric as soon as I heard the ruling on Friday, and my heart practically burst with joy, not only for the two of you, but for all who can now have their love and rights properly recognized. This watermelon shrub looks like a fantastic way to celebrate!ReplyCancel

  • June 29, 2015 - 2:14 pm
  • June 29, 2015 - 7:06 pm

    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles - Dabbling with shrubs is definitely on my list. I love what you did with this bevvy!ReplyCancel

  • June 29, 2015 - 10:11 pm

    Tieghan - Sounds like a fun and crazy month! I hear ya, it’s been BUSY, but July is supposed to be even busier…excited, but tired all at the same time. HA! Hope you get a a little breather soon! :)

    This drink though? It makes me all kinds of happy! Totally loving the colors and summer flavors. SO fun!ReplyCancel

  • June 30, 2015 - 12:52 am

    Matt Robinson - The use of tabasco is brilliant, my kind of cocktail for sure!! Beautiful pics too Brian. Wow.ReplyCancel

  • June 30, 2015 - 9:54 am

    Andrew Frishman - MMnnnn… Hurrah for the shrub!ReplyCancel

  • June 30, 2015 - 5:07 pm

    Meredith - When I saw that you were doing this I was hoping for a Tabasco recipe!ReplyCancel

  • June 30, 2015 - 9:07 pm

    Denise - This cocktail looks and sounds so refreshing, and I am not even one who really likes watermelon. Dying to try this out. Funny when I was at Tabasco I also thought I should make a shrub, seemed just perfect, and I did a pineapple one. So good!ReplyCancel

  • June 30, 2015 - 11:45 pm

    Shaina - A lovely cocktail, and I adore the hint of heat in it. Celebrating right alongside you, too. xoReplyCancel

  • July 4, 2015 - 7:01 am

    Currently Crushing On. | How Sweet It Is - […] watermelon shrub spritzer. so […]ReplyCancel

  • July 4, 2015 - 5:43 pm

    June - I’ve been a lurker for some time, and I wanted to tell you that this drink sound absolutely delicious. And I am so very glad that you and your mate now have the rights that were due you. Thank goodness for that. I just wish my brother had lived long enough to enjoy this right.ReplyCancel

  • July 5, 2015 - 7:26 am

    Joanne - Lately I’m all about drinks that are sweet with a hint of spice and this totally fits the bill! Summer perfect.ReplyCancel

  • July 6, 2015 - 11:35 am

    Nik@ABrownTable - I’m kinda liking the idea of a little heat with watermelon! I need new drink ideas all the time and I’m adding this one to my list of must make summer drinks.ReplyCancel

  • July 22, 2015 - 1:21 pm

    Charred Corn and Mango Salsa + Plantain Chips » A Thought For Food - […] You can check out my recap from my trip to visiting Tabasco here and my recipes for Smokey Shrimp Burgers and a Watermelon Shrub Spritzer. […]ReplyCancel

  • September 25, 2015 - 5:43 am

    Jake - I went to a cocktail windedg reception and it was a big hit. The couple actually bought and put together a bunch of couches and made several conversation pits. They later sold the couches for more than they paid for them!! If you are unable to do this, you can rent couches. They also got some high top small round tables from the venue and put large round table cloths on them and then gathered the table cloth and tied it to the pedestal leg with great ribbons. This was a great place to put down cocktails while eating appetizers. I really think you need to provide some seating, even if the party is only two hours.The atmosphere at this reception was so cocktail party and people mingled quite a bit. The Bride and Groom did a smart thing they had four tables with appetizers in all four corners of the room, so everyone was forced to walk around. This was one of the best cocktail receptions I have ever attended. Everyone had a great time.The tables were decorated simply with white table cloths and blue bottles with a single candle in the neck of the bottle.ReplyCancel

  • September 25, 2015 - 5:57 am

    Donald - on December 4, 2012 Totally agree, NOMU is fab! I subscribed to their mliear years ago and I love receiving their recipes every month (have saved them all)! The styling is equally deliciousReplyCancel

Creamy, Cheesy Scrambled Eggs // A Thought For Food

Last weekend was our annual Cape retreat with some of our friends. A few couples stayed with us at the house where we did what we do best: chat, read, eat, and drink. Before their arrival, I spent an afternoon preparing large quantities of corn salad, sangria, and lobster salad. This freed up my time, allowing me to enjoy the warm weather a bit more, instead of having to spend hours in the kitchen. The only meal I didn’t plan for was breakfast. I’m an early riser, so after I’d gotten dressed and taken the dog out, I began preparing one of my favorite weekend breakfasts: scrambled eggs.

These scrambled eggs are, quite simply, the best I’ve ever had.  It’s a slightly adapted version of Julia Chid’s recipe, which calls for a pat of butter at the end. But I think the real beauty comes from the low and slow method she used. Instead of getting clumps of egg, this preparation is more reminiscent of a custard. By the end, you have smooth, rich and creamy eggs that are perfect for spreading on top of toast.

Creamy, Cheesy Scrambled Eggs // A Thought For FoodCreamy, Cheesy Scrambled Eggs // A Thought For FoodCreamy, Cheesy, Scrambled Eggs // A Thought For FoodView full post »

  • June 22, 2015 - 8:43 am

    Tieghan - First of all, you weekend sounds amazing. How fun to get to do that every year!!

    Second of al, these eggs!! They honestly look SO perfect! This is my ideal anytime meal. LOVE! :)ReplyCancel

  • June 22, 2015 - 9:19 am

    Naomi - There is nothing worse than bad scramble eggs, so I love it when I see creamy ones like this. These are perfect. And lucky you for your fun stay, admittedly in slightly jealous!ReplyCancel

  • June 22, 2015 - 11:22 am

    Deborah - I could eat eggs for breakfast every single day, and scrambled is one of my favorite ways. These look like absolute perfection!ReplyCancel

  • June 22, 2015 - 11:55 am

    thefolia - This is the only way we eat our eggs on our nest and always with some avocado toast…happy feasting!ReplyCancel

  • June 22, 2015 - 12:20 pm

    Liz @ The Lemon Bowl - These look like perfection.. low is key for scrambled eggs. My sister is staying with my Grandma on Martha’s Vineyard for 10 days next month. Jealous is an understatement. :)ReplyCancel

  • June 22, 2015 - 12:20 pm

    James - Nice recipe, love all kinds of egg.
    Quick question where you put the milk in prep.?? I bet its on the first step =)ReplyCancel

  • June 22, 2015 - 1:18 pm

    Paula - bell'alimento - Swoon. I’m super picky about my scrambled eggs and these are just perfection. Pinned.ReplyCancel

  • June 22, 2015 - 6:44 pm

    Megan Keno - Scrambled eggs have never looked so good!!ReplyCancel

  • June 22, 2015 - 7:27 pm

    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles - Corn salad + sangria + lobster salad, sounds about perfect. And I love these eggs, too!ReplyCancel

  • June 23, 2015 - 6:31 am

    Sandra Lea - I would love the recipe for your corn salad and sangria.ReplyCancel

  • June 23, 2015 - 8:38 am

    Valerie Thayer - These look amazing and I wish they were in front of me for breakfast right now!ReplyCancel

  • June 23, 2015 - 10:36 am

    Katalina @ Peas and Peonies - I love scrambled eggs, I used to eat them as a kid all the time, love how cheesy yours turned out, and on crispy toast with avocado, this is breakfast perfection.ReplyCancel

  • June 23, 2015 - 2:03 pm

    Betty | le jus d'orange - Hey Brian! I came over via Dinner Special Podcast – for some reason I didn’t even realize you were in Boston!! Love your work, we should get together sometime!ReplyCancel

  • June 24, 2015 - 5:20 am

    Sylvie | Gourmande in the Kitchen - Sounds like perfection on a plate, I love nice creamy scrambled eggs.ReplyCancel

  • June 24, 2015 - 8:05 pm

    cheri - I’ve heard about this method, yours look amazing. Will try this myself.ReplyCancel

  • June 27, 2015 - 7:05 am

    Currently Crushing On. | How Sweet It Is - […] creamy, cheesy scrambled eggs. […]ReplyCancel

  • June 27, 2015 - 4:36 pm

    Ami@NaiveCookCooks - These eggs! How come sometimes the simplest things are the BEST and often forgotten? These are gorgeous and I can see myself eating these for dinner! :)ReplyCancel

  • June 28, 2015 - 11:37 am

    Susannah I. Sherwood - On the Hong Kong-based “Lady and Pups” (a.k.a. “Angry Food Blog”) you’ll find a different, quite unusual method of achieving soft, custardy, and very delicious scrambled eggs in seconds.ReplyCancel

  • June 30, 2015 - 4:28 pm

    Meredith - I can taste these through the screen! And now all I want is scrambled eggs corn and lobster salad. I’m flying over!ReplyCancel

  • June 30, 2015 - 9:09 pm

    Denise - The only way to make scrambled eggs. I could eat these for dinner.ReplyCancel

  • July 1, 2015 - 9:40 am

    bev @ bevcooks - UMMM omg yes.ReplyCancel