As far back as I can remember every summer cookout and southern BBQ I have ever attended was always brimming with platters of fresh vine ripened tomatoes. It seemed like every backyard gardener and farmer in my family tree had their own strain of heirloom seeds that they swore by for producing picture perfect tomatoes and their methods for planting and tending varied just as much. While their discussions over the proper way to tend to their tomatoes could get heated one thing they always agreed upon was the best way to eat them and that was simply seasoned with a little oil, salt, and pepper.
While I don’t have a green thumb and have never yielded a bumper crop of beautiful tomatoes I did learn a thing or two from my relatives about serving them. Today I am teaming up with a fabulous group of bloggers inspired by Saghar of the blog Lab Noon to share our favorite potluck inspired recipes for a virtual midsummer potluck for peace.
The state of the world today seems to be more heated than ever. Everyone has their own opinion about politics and religion, which used to be what made this world we live in great, but now it seems it is what divides us the most. While I tend to stray from political or religious conversations here on This Mess Is Ours, I feel like there is one common thread that unites us all and that is food. So, today we’re celebrating our cultural differences and preferences and partaking in a potluck filled with a variety of the ethnic flavors and traditions that make us all uniquely individual.
I’m bringing a simple tomato salad similar to the one that my relatives served at our family reunion when I was young, but I am dressing it up with a little west coast flair and adding slices of fresh avocado and herbs. Although, it is slightly different than my grandmother would have served I think she would approve of my modern spin on her classic summer dish.
Meg van der Kruik is the writer, mother, photographer, designer, cook and creative spirit behind This Mess is Ours. After her infant son was diagnosed with a gluten allergy, she dedicated herself to learning to make meals the whole family would love. It’s a bit of a mess – cooking for a vegetarian and three meat-eaters with a range of gluten + dairy sensitivities, but she manages to bring them together every night around their little family table.