We're celebrating Meatless Mondays with balanced, delicious meal plans. We hope you'll join us -- whether you're vegetarian all the time or just here and there.
Today: Maintain the integrity of your overripe fruit and vegetables -- and your romantic summer ambitions -- in one fell swoop.
You woke up last week, realized it had turned to late July overnight, and started to stockpile summer produce. Now that it's August, the reality that summer will once again die is, well, real, and you've been forced to acknowledge the consequences of your hoarding habit. The tomatoes and berries that looked so plump and jovial at the market have now turned squishy and saggy. Like the season itself, they're ripening -- though hopefully not rotting -- before your eyes, and there's nothing you can do to stop it.
Don't be embarrassed by your grand gesture to seize the summer -- you can enjoy your lovingly-selected produce even if you wouldn't eat it raw. Tonight, emphasize the flavor of the ripest tomatoes and berries while side-stepping any textural issues. You can maintain your romantic ambitions and the integrity of your fruit and vegetables in one fell swoop. Here's how.
2 cups berries
4 slices of country-style bread
2/3 cup full-fat yogurt (either Greek or regular)
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 large ripe tomato, cut in half
Delicate salad greens like arugula or baby spinach, optional
We're assuming you have honey or sugar, garlic, salt, pepper, and 4 eggs. If not, add those to the list.
1. In a small pan over low heat, warm the berries with 2 tablespoons of honey or sugar and 2 tablespoons of water. Simmer for about 5 minutes, then crush loosely with a fork and let cool.
2. Next, brush the slices of bread with olive oil on both sides. Toast in an oven or a toaster oven at about 375° F until golden and crisped.
3. Combine the berry mixture with the yogurt in one bowl, then whip the cream until thick. Fold the whipped cream into the berries and yogurt and let it set in the refrigerator.
4. Remove the toast from the oven and rub all sides with a fat clove of peeled garlic. Then rub the toast with the cut side of the tomato, generously squeezing the tomato insides onto the toast as you rub. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper and set aside.
5. Coat a large skillet or frying pan with a thin layer of olive oil and heat it to medium-high. Crack four eggs into the pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny. Top each piece of toast with one of the eggs and some salad greens, if you like, and serve. Take out the fool when you’re ready for dessert.
Photos by Emily Vikre and James Ransom