The tomatoes are starting to come in.
Short of eating BLT sandwiches every day for a week (Sacramento, we’re looking at you), among the best ways to enjoy these early garden prizes is to combine them with bread in two classics with Mediterranean origins: gazpacho and panzanella. (The first is a cool Spanish soup, the latter an Italian salad.)
The dishes are similar in their ingredients. Both use cucumber and onions, as well as stale or toasted bread, which is there to sop up or thicken those lovely tomato juices. You can boost the protein by tossing in some shrimp or crab.
And if you can’t decide between the two, try a hybrid: gazpacho panzanella, a salad from Cooking Light that adds rotisserie chicken for an easy summer meal.
And here’s a good reminder from the Chicago Tribune: “Recipes often call for ‘best quality’ this or that ingredient, in a manner that can come off as bossy. Risking that, the olive oil and vinegar used here will make or break the salad.”