Summer sauces; tomato-fresh basil-garlic vinaigrette

You can see flecks of basil which give this tomatoey-garlicky vinaigrette cooling hints of mint.

I don’t know why, but it started with purchased tzatziki (cucumber, yogurt and garlic), which is really good on a chicken or tuna sandwich. Then, of course, the poppy-seed dressing and now a tomato-basil vinaigrette that’s out of this world. We’ll forget about the mayonnaise with siracha, soy sauce and sesame oil added for garnishing a tuna burger.  Too spicy for anyone without an asbestos mouth.

I don’t spend a lot of time cooking — prepping in the morning before the Y or the garden and then quickly putting everything together at night. So sauces usually wait for the second night we’re eating a particular dish, the day when I have no prep work. (Most recipes make 4 servings, and we are usually only 2.)

relish newspaper supplement provided the recipe. Usually, that’s a very reliable source, but this recipe, for some reason, instructs us to chop the basil and mince the garlic cloves. Please don’t bother — that’s what the food processor is for.

If you haven’t yet tried the tomato paste in a tube, now would be a good time since this recipe uses only a dab.

Marygrace Taylor, the author, suggests you try this dressing on grilled steaks as well as salad greens. Next I’m going to try her Smoked Red Pepper-Walnut Dressing on shrimp.

Garlicky Tomato-Basil Vinaigrette

2 Roma (or other small) tomatoes, washed, cut into quarters and seeded

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, loosely packed

2 garlic cloves, peeled

1/2 cup good-quality olive oil

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons tomato paste

1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine ingredients in food processor or blender. Process until smooth. Makes 1-1/2 cups.



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