Eaters! I’m opening a hotel tomorrow with my husband Bobby and a team of insanely talented, motivated and hard-working partners. (This is why I’ve been quieter on my blog than usual). While I’ve had my hands in most of the pots, from hunting for decor treasures with our design team at Gather to laying bricks, I’ve been intensely focused on feeding people. This includes our crew when we’ve suddenly realized that adrenaline is not a healthy diet … but I’ve also been building an out-of-the-box cafe, bar and s’more menu for Firelight Camps.
You see, we’re a “glamping” hotel, the industry term for glamorous + camping. We’re made out of tents smack-dab in the Upper Buttermilk Forest! Which means, our breakfast and bar operate (mostly) out of a tent too. Fortunately, we’re on the grounds with our partner La Tourelle, a family-owned hotel and spa. This means I get to cook the some of the “indoor” dishes with Chef Angelina Tagliavento for several of the items on the breakfast menu, all designed around seasonal ingredients and holding up in the elements. We’ll have personal-sized quiches and frittatas, a hearty granola with those clusters I love to pick out of the box, Wide Awake Bakery loaves, and preserves and juices from Knapp Farm. I’ve spent weeks connecting with my favorite Finger Lakes food-makers, like Emmy’s Organics, 40 Weight Coffee Roasters and Krumbs Bakery at Gimme, and making new friends with folks like Randy and Diana at Hopshire Brewery. I’ve tracked down maple syrup and other suppliers at the Ithaca Farmers Market, and I think it’s safe to say we’re ready to clink our forks and eat. Breakfast, at least (it’s included in your stay). And soon enough we’ll be cooking over fire!
In my balancing act of anticipating our first guests tomorrow and being space-cadet distracted by the natural beauty in view of my tea kettle, I’ve rediscovered the word “busy.” My cup is always overflowing, but heck, this must be what it’s like to be a full-time, working parent (and not just a very happy, adoring aunt). Running on fumes instead of REM cycles and juggling I-don’t-even-remember-how-many-balls at once!
But, if we don’t take a moment to feed ourselves with good food, we’ll suck the spark out of life. So, here’s an easy, delicious salad taught to me by my mamma to squeeze squeeze in on the fly. It’s delicious on a rustic hunk of toasted bread. This is a perfect segue-way from last week’s $5days5ways with peaches (still plentiful) and this week’s #5days5ways with tomatoes. Dig in!
The beauty of this recipe is it's flexibility. It's best to use heirloom or big beefy tomatoes for this dish, but really, any tomatoes would do and it would be cute as a button and sweet as can be with cherry toms too! That's what the Aussies call them. You can substitute the red wine vinegar with any other citrus, such as balsamic vinegar, freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice, or even apple cider vinegar. I also love to interchange the basil with mint, or a bit of both!
- Yellow or Red Onion - 1, thinly sliced
- Olive oil - 2 tablespoons
- Red wine vinegar - 3 tablespoons, substitute with freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- Peaches - 3, thinly sliced
- Tomatoes - 2, thinly sliced
- Fresh basil - 1 cup leaves, loosely packed
- Salt - 1 teaspoon
- Freshly ground black pepper - To taste
- In a large bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar and olive oil.
- Add the onions and mix together. This will cut the bite of the onions while you prepare the peaches and tomatoes.
- Add the peaches and tomatoes to the onions.
- Tear the basil with your hands and add to the salad with the salt and pepper. Toss.
- Serve immediately or marinate (it gets delicious with age!).