Whole Living Daily

What Grows Together, Goes Together: Tomato and Basil Edition

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With the summer's bounty in full swing, sometimes the biggest challenge of the season is deciding just which ingredients to include in a dish. A great way to navigate your way through a farmer's market is the sage adage: what grows together, goes together. . . or the philosophy of pairing ingredients that grow together in the same region and season. Tomato and basil have always been sweethearts, and after a recent visit to a farm in upstate New York, I discovered the concept of companion planting. The farmer explained why the two were planted next to each other in the garden. Basil's heady fragrance helps repel pests from tomato plants. In honor of this duo, I combined basil, tomato, extra sharp cheddar, and avocado for sandwiches. In a pinch, I wrapped them up in newspaper for the trip home. (And it worked as well as parchment!)

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Comments (7)

  • Newspaper-what a great idea!

  • Awesome blog AND gorgeous sandwiches!!!! They look like they would be the perfect snack for a 5 hour road trip!!

  • i don't think newsprint would be a good idea to wrap a sandwich in. the ink is always transferring to my hands when i'm reading. I can only imagine how newspaper ink would absorb to a tomato, or rub off on the bread.... and then i would ingest it? i don't think so. i think everyone should stick with parchment, especially if you're thinking about wrapping sandwiches for little kids.

  • Author Comment:

    At the time, I decided to wrap up the sandwiches in newspaper because it was really the only thing around, and I had romantic visions of fish and chips nestled in newspaper-lined baskets in England. But your comment has inspired some research into the general safety of newsprint. As it turns out, newspaper ink used to contain lead. The EPA banned it as an ingredient in ink in 1985. I looked into what type of ink The New York Times uses for its Sunday Book Review section (my wrapping paper), and I could only find this reference which stated that it uses a soy-based ink as well as other types. Interestingly, The New York Times is permitted as mulch on certified organic farms. I agree, I would not have wrapped sandwiches for small children, but for our group of adults, it worked well . . . and the sandwiches didn't taste like the newspaper.

  • I love the newspaper idea - totally charming and thanks to your research I know to stick to the Times book review!

  • Another benefit of using newpaper for wrapping foods: An unread newspaper is virtually sterile (germs do not survive the printing process).

  • [...] taste good together. It’s an idea that’s commonly tossed around on foodie websites as advice to aspiring cooks. Wine aficionados love to use it to help them chose which wine to pair with a [...]

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