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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: Two "recipes" that aren’t really recipes at all.
So we lied. This column promises "balanced, delicious meal plans" and this one is certainly delicious, though not exactly balanced. But what this meal is lacking in green vegetables and vegetarian proteins (but hold on a second, does ice cream count?), it makes up for in ease and taste. Every once in a while (and more so when it's summer or, you know, whenever you're actively breathing), it's okay to throw the whole "balanced meal" notion out the window. Life will go on.
Carefully pluck the prettiest tomatoes from the market and spring for a pint of your favorite ice cream. Don't worry about protein. Protein is for body builders. (Just kidding, protein is important.) If you're worried that you'll be hungry, fry an egg, add ricotta cheese, or make another ice cream sandwich.
2 large heirloom tomatoes
Good coarse salt
4 slices of your favorite whole wheat bread (more if you’d like to eat it with the tomatoes, too)
Ricotta cheese, optional
4 large scoops of your favorite chocolate ice cream
We assume that you have an egg or two lying around. If not, and you’re inclined to eat some eggs with this meal, pick up a dozen or so (because you should probably have eggs in your refrigerator regardless).
1. Grab a pinch or two of salt (we prefer to shun sodium alarmism and dole it out by the palmful) and place it on a plate. Cut the tomatoes in fat slices or large chunks, dip them in the salt, and devour. This is not rocket science.
2. If you want more or your companion is getting whiny, lay the tomatoes over toasted bread so that they get just the slightest bit warm and runny. If that’s still not enough, add some ricotta cheese. Or fry an egg, if you need to cook something.
3. When you’ve had your fill of tomatoes, take out the bread and, using a 3-inch cookie cutter (or whatever you have), cut a circle from each one. We recommend saving the bread frames for making one-eyed sandwiches in the morning (or for a midnight snack).
4. Set out your ice cream and do a little dance as you wait for it to soften to a scoopable consistency. Toast the bread circles, then place a scoop of ice cream between two warm bread circles. Smush the bread together so that the ice cream starts to squeeze out the edges. Eat.
Photos by James Ransom