On the occasion of this special day, I'm making note of things as I sit and write this post to you, my readers. It's my birthday today (and yes I am sitting in a jazz-filled cafe alone early in the morning and it's HEAVEN), and on this day I am one entire whole year older (DUH, I know you know this but still). A year that both flew by and yet felt like it crawled at times, with anguish, discomfort, heartache, and most of all stretching that has brought with it an immense amount of personal growth - it's one that won't soon be forgotten.
As with New Years time, and as I get older (and hopefully wiser), birthdays have begun to signify milestones in the life of one grown woman: me. Funny that I never really thought of myself that way until just recently. A grown woman (yes, I guess at 37 years old they call you that). So every year I find myself reflecting a little more than in my younger years, it's a good thing.
So without looking back to the year that was, I'm right now looking ahead to the road before me. That road includes all of the things I am grateful for today, including all of you. On this day I am grateful for the wonderful people in my life, from my family who I love to itty-bitty pieces to my crazy brilliant friends who have joined me on our collective journey to finding purpose through expression. Make no mistake, I'm one lucky birthday girl and I know it.
This recipe came to light one fine weekend not long ago after a farmer's market venture I made alone on my bike. The tomatoes formed the inspiration as the late summer sun keeps pounding out the warmth and the tables and the stalls at the market bear the proof of that. Bounty is everywhere right now and this recipe is the celebration of this abundance ---- we live in a most beautiful place and time --- be sure to take the time to enjoy it. Find heirloom tomatoes at their peak and while you are at it, a sweet freshly harvested white onion. You will taste the difference in the onion, it's crazy what a drastic contrast in experience a little freshness makes. Serve this as a starter to a dinner party or at a potluck, it is guaranteed to not only be the eye pleaser on the table, but a hit for everyone's taste buds too. Enjoy (and Happy Birthday to me!)! xo
Heirloom Tomato & Onion Tartine on Chickpea Flatbread1 recipe Chickpea Flatbread
3 pounds Heirloom tomatoes (preferably smaller firmer varieties), assorted sizes and colours
1 sweet white onion, medium sized
Salt & pepper to taste
Olive & Caper Tapenade1 cup packed pitted Kalamata olives
1/4 cup capers
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 fresh shallot, minced
This recipe is pretty simple to make so long as you plan ahead and prep for the flatbread. To date, this is easily the most popular recipe on my site, and I love finding new ways to incorporate it into our eating patterns - it is easy to make, tasty, affordable, and filling, which fits the food philosophy in my life to a tee. I highly recommend trying it and if you do, give the adequate time to let the mixture sit (as recommended). In this version I let the chickpea & water sit for 8 hours and the results were fantastic.
Before prepping everything else, peel and slice the white onion into thin strips. Place in a small bowl with just enough cold water to cover, and add a 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the water. Let the onion soak while you prep the rest of the ingredients, this will take any edge off of the taste and bring out the sweetness.
For the tartine, follow the instructions for the flatbread. Once the flatbread is baking in the oven, get to work on the tapenade by mixing all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend until well mixed (but a little chunky is fine too). Taste for lemon juice and salt and set aside.
To make the tomato salad, simply wash and cut the tomatoes as desired. I love the irregular colours & shapes of Heirlooms in season. Drain and mix in the onion slices to taste, saving any leftovers for salads or sandwiches later in the week. Mix ever so gently with your hands and wait until the flatbread is ready to assemble.
To assemble the tartine, wait until the cooked flatbread has cooled to around room temperature. Leaving the bread in the pan it cooked in, spread an even layer of tapenade over the entire surface (you will use about half of this recipe). Just before serving, gently scatter the tomato & onion salad over the layer of delicious tapenade. Top with freshly ground black pepper as desired (and even some feta for those craving a little cheese). To serve, simply cut into squares with a sharp knife or pie cutter and enjoy.