Monday, June 9, 2008

More Heat Wave Food

Before I had kids Insalata Caprese was my favorite hangover food. I lived in Italy for a couple of years in my 20's, and after too much red wine I would drag myself to the market with a giant bottle of acqua gassata in hand and buy tomatoes, mozzarella, and a hefty square of salty, oily focaccia. I'd bring it all home in an oily brown paper bag and assemble my recovery salad like a mad woman, adding hot dried red pepper, torn basil leaves, and lots of olive oil and salt.

Hangovers aren't such a problem in my life anymore, but kids are. Luckily, one of my kids likes tomatoes, and the other one likes mozzarella. It would be nice if they could get in sync on these matters, but: oh well.

Anyway, nevermind about them. This is what I had for breakfast this morning: Insalata Caprese, a typical southern Italian breakfast.

But this is good for dinner, too: Cook up a pot of linguine or some bowties, and toss it with olive oil and salt. Serve with the tomatoes and mozzarella and basil in separate bowls.

Even if your kids don't want basil on their own plates, crush a leaf and try to get them to smell it. If you can challenge them to name-that-herb, getting them to enjoy specks of aromatic greens on their food is just one step away. It's all a slow process of wearing them down.

More importantly, on a day like this, it's a one-burner meal.

Stay cool!

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