I've had an up and down relationship with tomatoes since I was a kid. Did I love them or did I hate them? Did I just not like them raw? I knew that couldn't be it because every summer when my aunt whipped up her famous fresh salsa you'd have to pry me away from the bowl. When I tried to make it myself during any season other than summer, it was never the same. There had to be a reason.
Then a few years ago I had space for my own little garden where I grew a few vegetables, including tomatoes. After the first harvest and first taste, I knew immediately why my love of tomatoes had been so wavering. I vowed to never eat another fresh tomato out of season.
As inspired as I am to create new meals from the bounty that comes out of this month, it's also the dog day of summer. Warm days and nights and a busy schedule limit my stove cooking and keep me out of the house. These tomato and white bean toasts are superquick to make and the only thing that needs to heat up is your toaster for the bread. A quick whirl of your food processor and you have yourself a satisfying, quick, and healthy meal in about 15 minutes.
Tomato and White Bean Toast
for the bean spread
2 cups cooked cannellini beans (or 1 16-oz can, rinsed)
1 clove garlic
Juice of half a lemon
Small handful of fresh basil
4 to 6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
for the toast
8 slices whole-grain crusty bread, toasted
1 large or 2 medium tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch-thick
4 Tbsp thinly sliced red onion
Chopped fresh basil, for garnish
In a food processor, pulse the beans, garlic, lemon juice, and basil. With the processor running, drizzle in the olive oil, blending until smooth and creamy. Salt to taste (you'll need less if you go for canned beans).
Spread toast with a thick layer of bean spread. Top with tomato, red onion, and basil.
Jacquelyn Scoggin became a vegetarian at age 16 and has since been in the kitchen whipping up meals for her family and friends. She writes and photographs her love for vegetarian food on her blog, So Good & Tasty. In 2009, she and her husband started Slide Sideways, a graphic design and handmade business. They maintain their love for the environment by using organic fabric, recycled paper, and environmentally friendly cleaning products.