Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Midnight Salad


1 large vine-ripe yellow tomato
6 fresh basil leaves
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. aged balsamic vinegar
cracked sea salt and pepper
22 oz. He'brew Jewbelation Eleven

1) Cut tomato into bite size pieces.
2) Chiffonade the basil.
3) Drizzle olive oil and Balsamic vinegar.
4) Add sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste.
5) Open He'brew Jewbelation Eleven.
6) Enjoy together.

THE BEER: First of all, it's from He'brew, which is made in Saratoga Springs, NY and is the ale/other category of the Shmaltz Brewing Company, whose lager beers fall under the Coney Island label. It's dark, velvet chocolate with a good dose of coffee, brown sugar, vaguely smoky, not too strong on the tobacco end, with hints of fruit (primarily prune) and just a tiny trace of tar. Very meaty, strong beer, which Gabe matched with an acidic, vinegar-lightened dish. Why? It tastes delicious. The darkness of the beer was offset by the strong light tones of the salad.

THE ADVENTURE: It can be a dicey proposition, one fraught with self-recrimination and heartache, to pick a tomato when There Be Bandits About. After all, they know you want the ripe tomato. The thieves long for the same heightened flavor. They will wait until the last moment possible, just before you pick it, and abscond with your tomato. They will not look back. Except to check for other near-ripe tomatoes. Oh, sure, you could pick an unripe tomato. You could also buy hydroponically-genetically-fundamentally-spiritually altered tomatoes from the great tomato beds of Mars, and eat them after they've gone through re-entry. But why do that? One's timing must be perfect to preempt these Lawless Community Gardeners.

THE RECIPE IS GOD-AWFUL SIMPLISTIC BUT DELICIOUS: Also, it was a literally post-midnight snack. One does what one can, after all. And the tomato was begging to be picked. If I'd been a Tomato Bandit, I'd have marked it days ago as "ripe" for the "plucking."

Our departed Belgian comrade in beer drinking (he didn't die--he has merely determined to live in Belgium) left us with some lovely Delirium Tremens glasses, from which the He'brew done got drunk from when it got drunk. Forgive us. We just watched Tropic Thunder.

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