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08.07.2006

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DigsMagazine.com.

quick fix: summer tomato sauce 
by Yee-Fan Sun | 
1 2 3

For a long, long time, I was convinced I hated tomatoes. Cooked tomatoes were no problem, all broken down so they no longer bore any resemblance to their original state, but the unadulterated raw stuff? Shudder. I'd push them off to the periphery when I encountered them in salads, excavate them out from sandwiches, watch in barely-disguised revulsion as some tomato-lover popped a cherry tomato whole into his mouth. I hated the seedy sliminess; I hated the squashiness. The few times politeness forced me to choke down the evil vegetables (yes, yes, I know they're technically fruits), I couldn't detect a trace of the sweetness other folks raved about.

But while traveling in Italy just after graduating from college, I had a tomato revelation. It came sliced, paired with rich buffalo mozzarella and a generous drizzle of green-golden olive oil. It was redder than red, juicy but firm. Bearing zero resemblance to the pale, mealy specimens I'd encountered in my youth, it tasted so, so good.

These days, I've joined the ranks of tomato-eaters, and in summer especially, my palate thanks me for it. A beautifully ripened tomato, fresh from the garden or farmer's market, is one of summer's great, cheap pleasures. Though I'm not so hardcore that you'll ever find me biting into a raw tomato whole, fresh tomatoes are the base for all sorts of excellent no-cook foods -- like this simple tomato sauce, which relies on just a few basic ingredients that I almost always have lying around the kitchen, and is so easy to throw together that even the most culinarily-impaired can pull it off in about five minutes flat. Pair it with pasta, grilled fish or chicken, whatever you like. It's the perfect solution when summer heat waves hit.

wander this way for the recipe...

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