Easy Monday Pot Luck…

“Homegrown tomatoes, homegrown tomatoes
What would life be like without homegrown tomatoes
Only two things that money can’t buy
That’s true love and homegrown tomatoes.”

John Denver, ‘Home Grown Tomatoes’
(from a song written by Guy Clark)

How much easier can a “Pot Luck dinner get when you start with a delightful friend’s French onion soup?  Well, pretty darn easy to toss a good salad together to go with it and I chose a simple tomato, red onion, end of the season summer tomatoes, basil and a great simple dressing from Jacques Pepin.  Grill a few extra crostini rubbed with garlic and enjoy…thanks for the soup Cookie and as Jacques says “use a sharp blade” to slice the ripe tomatoes and I thank you for that lovely tomato knife as well…

Well, there are still some summer tomatoes from the farm stands out there local and from the mountains and what a great season we have had we will be sorry to see the tomatoes gone this year.  I made just enough of the salad for two of us which meant 1 huge tomato over a nice bed of arugula, but you can use a mix of lettuces or just your favorite kind of lettuce, next time, I’m going to make it with radicchio, fennel and arugula my favorite blend.

I would never imagine that in my house we would ever be out of EVOO any other olive oil, and are you ready, red wine vinegar?  Yes, it did happen to I ended up making a blend of sherry vinegar and white balsamic and grapeseed oil, noting that I will probably blend the grapeseed with the EVOO next time.  At any rate, I also made 1/2 of the dressing for our dinner.


4 large ripe tomatoes (about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
1 large red onion, peeled I prefer my onion very thinly sliced
1 teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
5 tablespoons olive oil or a mixture of olive oil and vegetable oil (safflower or corn oil)…see my note re the oil blend
¼ cup shredded fresh basil


  1. Cut the tomatoes horizontally into 1/4-inch slices. (Remember that a sharp blade is required to slice very ripe tomatoes.) Arrange the slices, overlapping them slightly, on a large oval or round gratin dish.
  2. Cut the peeled onion into 1/8-inch thick slices. Separate the slices into rings and arrange over the tomatoes. Sprinkle with the salt, pepper, vinegar, and oil, coating the whole surface as evenly as possible. Sprinkle the shredded basil on top and serve at room temperature. This goes well with a crunchy, crusty French bread.