Fall is clearly making its way into East-Central Illinois. The corn in the fields have turned brown and the soybeans are moving from green to yellow. There's a chill in the morning air these days. We're harvesting the last of the produce from our garden as well. I always feel the that the last tomatoes of the season are the most flavorful. It may just be that I know that the days of walking out the door and coming back in with fresh tomatoes for dinner are almost past, or it could be that there's something in that morning chill that makes them more sweet and delicious.
Either way, now is when I look for ways to make our tomatoes the star of any dish I use them in. That's the case with this dish. The tomatoes were firm and sweet, with just the hint of acidity from the lemon juice, countered by the tang of onion and the creaminess of the dressing and goat cheese crumbles. Nancy an d I both went back for seconds and she finished off the leftovers the next day before I could even get home! All that flavor was only 73 calories with 3 grams of fat and 2 of fiber per serving.
Finally, if you're in the Champaign, Illinois area, please join me this Friday, Sept. 10, for a healthy cooking demonstration from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Weight Watchers Center at 2223 S. Neil Street, behind the Biaggis. The demo is open and free to all. Weight Watchers will be providing door prizes.
Heirloom Tomato Salad with Buttermilk Dressing and Crumbled Goat Cheese
Makes 6 servings
For the dressing:
1/2 cup fat free mayonnaise
1/4 cup reduced fat buttermilk
3 tablespoons scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1-1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
kosher salt to taste
For the salad:
6 medium heirloom tomatoes, cored and cut into wedges or chunks
1/2 cup onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 ounces crumbled chevre (soft goat cheese)
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Whisk together dressing ingredients and chill.
Combine tomatoes, onions, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Divide tomato mixture between plates, drizzle with dressing and top with crumbled cheese.
Deal of the Day: A good serrated blade is best for tomatoes to keep from damaging them.