Like the last dregs of sweet ice cream dripping down the sides of a freshly pressed waffle cone we are lapping up every last bit of Summer. It’s true that nearly an entire month remains of the season but this week school starts and with the oldest darting off to Kindergarten this year, it suddenly feels like Fall is near. While I have no problem with the Fall, in fact it is my favorite season for eating, cooking and reliving childhood giddiness around holidays, Summer still remains and there is much more eating to do. Like those last few lingering tastes off the cone, these remaining days are often the sweetest.
There are birthday cakes to be made, parties to plan and pointy, poof topped hats to don. There are toes to be dipped in and cooled by the sea, sand to be rinsed off said toes, and bbq’s to be lit. There are more meals to be eaten outdoors and a few more strawberries to pluck from our few still-producing plants.
There are tomatoes.
These are the tomato days. When the curtain of summer just starts to draw. When the days are for sleeveless tops and the evenings require light sweaters. Tomatoes have graciously been working all season to provide us with a fruit so sweet, very little needs to be done in order to prepare them for dinner. Considering all the other activities that surround these tomato days this is indeed a gift.
In an evening when we lingered out in the sun well into the dinner hour I searched for something to make and quick (can you tell I’m not much of a planner?). I reached for a few slices of thick-cut bread, brushed them with olive oil and placed on the grill pan. While the bread was getting branded with deep, smokey grill marks I grated (yes, grated – as you would cheese) a large tomato right into a bowl.
When the bread was sufficiently crisped on the outside with a bit of tenderness still remaining I rubbed the rough outer crumb with a garlic clove, topped with a couple spoonfuls of the fresh, grated tomato and finished of with a few curls of Parmesan. Dinner was prepared, served and devoured with still enough time to linger in the last few drips of the sun.
Tomato Toast with Parmesan
4 slices thick cut bread
2 Tablespoons extra- virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove
1 medium tomato
Brush both sides of the bread with olive oil. Place on a hot grill pan (or an outdoor grill). Grill until dark char marks sear the bread while the inside still remains a bit soft. This should take about 3 minutes per side.
While the bread is still warm rub a garlic clove over the surface of both sides of the bread. Set aside.
Using the largest side on a box grater, grate the tomato into a bowl.
Spoon a hefty amount of the tomato onto each slice of the bread. The bread will soak up some of the juice – this is exactly what you want.
Finish with a few shavings of Parmesan. You can use a vegetable peeler to get long, beautiful strands of Parmesan.