24 August 2009

Wait it out

In my life, coffee is non-negotiable. I realize that I am not alone in this, and that the majority of the American population is with me. There is little more pleasurable than waking up to a warm cup in the hand, reading the paper, and suddenly knowing that today is going to be OK. That's what coffee does for me, at least. (Let's not talk about the bad days, though. They are a completely different story. We don't need to elaborate on that today. Or ever.)

On the contrary, breakfast is completely negotiable. I'm not the biggest breakfast fan, unless breakfast comprises some sort of crispy potato, eggs, or cinnamon rolls. Honestly, I could not eat breakfast foods and be happy. Maybe it's the Chinese in me--I'd *almost* always prefer leftovers from last night. But... it all depends, of course.

Yesterday was a non-breakfast day. Jeff had his, but I preferred to wait it out until lunch. (We got up late, so it wasn't that much of a stretch, really.) Lunch! Delicious pasta salad with tomatoes and a lovely, light dressing. It seems so criminal to waste any time not eating tomatoes at present, especially when they're in season, and your CSA delivered, despite the blight. Thanks CSA!

Really, though. Eat this up. You'll be glad you did.

Tomato and Herb Pasta Salad, adapted from Gourmet

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons crème fraîche
1/2 tablespoon (1 1/2 teaspoons) white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)
1 pound mixed tomatoes (preferably heirloom)
1 tablespoon finely diced shallot
1/2 pound curly or curvy pasta
1/2 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs

1. Whisk together oil, crème fraîche, vinegar, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl.

2. Coarsely chop tomatoes and toss with shallot and dressing. Marinate until ready to use.

3. While tomatoes stand, cook pasta in a pot of well-salted boiling water until al dente. Drain in a colander and immediately add to tomato mixture, tossing to combine. Cool to warm or room-temperature (do not chill), tossing occasionally; add herbs before serving.

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