episode nine -- marinated tomatoes by mel torme
A few nights ago I watched a disc I recorded of June Allyson & Peter Lawford movies. The first title was the delightful MGM musical GOOD NEWS from 1947. It features an early performance by singer Mel Torme who made sporadic film appearances and occasional guest shots on television during his long and varied career. Mel is very young and in fine voice in GOOD NEWS. I guess I still had him in mind when I was searching for a recipe to share with you today.
In 1977 comedian Morey Amsterdam put together a cookbook of recipes that use alcohol, and it is appropriately (and humorously) called Morey Amsterdam's Benny Cooker Crock Book for Drinkers. In Morey's book, there is a recipe for tomatoes from Mel that uses bourbon. Since I do not drink bourbon, I am going to modify the recipe which has been reprinted on food.com. If you want to include the alcohol, I will let you look up Morey's book for the specific directions on that. I am using vinegar instead (my grandmother was Slovenian and used vinegar for almost everything).
6 vine ripe tomatoes, peeled
1/3 c. oil
2 T vinegar
lemon or lime juice (optional)
pinch of salt
1 T basil (or small green onion), chopped
1 T parsley (or cilantro), chopped
The first thing that needs to be done is to make the dressing. When combining the vinegar, oil and salt, really blend them. You may want to add a splash of real lemon or lime juice, too, for extra flavoring if you like. Next, it's time to add the herbs and spices-- basil and parsley, or in my version, it's onion and cilantro-- I spent many years in the southwest where this is what a person often uses.
Once the dressing is ready, arrange the tomatoes in a dish or on a platter. Again, these should be peeled and they should be thinly sliced. Next, pour the dressing over the tomatoes and let it stand for about 20 to 30 minutes at room temperature before serving.