Can you believe it is Labor Day weekend already? Where did the summer go? No, seriously… I have no idea how the time flew by so quickly.
Perhaps it flashed by because it was such a great summer. I finally went on my honeymoon to London and Paris, which was incredible; I got to spend some time kayaking on the Charles River; I celebrated my one year anniversary; and, perhaps best of all, I took many relaxing afternoon walks with Ryan after work. When the weather is beautiful and crazy schedules settle down a bit, it’s no wonder that the days melt away. If only we had another month left.
Admittedly, I know for many people – myself included – it is also nice to return to a regular routine; the kids go back to school, fall activities start up, and before you know it pumpkin flavored everything takes over the blogosphere. Ah, fall. I love you, too.
Nevertheless, I am not quite ready to relinquish my grasp on the lazy August days, and you will find that the next few posts fully embrace the fresh flavors of late summer. Today I offer you a light, refreshing tomato salad that is perfect for bringing to your Labor Day BBQ or serving up as quick side dish on a busy weeknight.
The ingredients are simple and it comes together in less than 10 minutes. Grab some cherry or grape tomatoes, your favorite ranch dressing, a little basil, and you’re in business. Enjoy!
Paula’s Notes: Feel free to use whatever color tomatoes you have on hand. I used a mix of red, orange, and yellow, just because the colors are so beautiful and I enjoy the subtle difference in flavors.
Fresh Tomato and Basil Salad
- 4 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, whichever color you prefer
- 6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 2-3 tbls. of your favorite ranch dressing (start with 2 tablespoons, add more if desired)
- 1 small clove garlic, finely minced (If you use my recipe for homemade ranch dressing, there is a good amount of garlic already, so you may want to taste prior to adding the extra clove)
- Pepper, to taste
- Slice about 2 cups of the cherry tomatoes in half. Place in a large bowl with remaining tomatoes and basil.
- In a small bowl, mix together ranch dressing and garlic until well blended.
- Add dressing to tomatoes and mix gently until tomatoes are fully coated.
- Season with pepper, and refrigerate until ready to eat.