Thursday, January 28, 2010

What To Do When Your Tomato Smells Like Armpit

I was craving a bit of summer in the form of a delicious Caprese salad, so I went to the store and picked up a red ripe hothouse tomato, a soft, fresh Mozzarella ball, and a gorgeous bouquet of crisp green basil. I generally have my reservations about winter tomatoes, but I was willing to take a risk. I wanted a summer salad, and I was going to have it!

Once home, I gathered my ingredients on the counter, hungry and salivating in anticipation of the familiar sweet softness of tomato combined with creamy cheese, rich olive oil, and pungent basil. I readied my cutting board and began to slice the tomato.

Sniff sniff... what was that smell? Armpits?? I stopped and smelled myself as we are prone to do when we catch a whiff of body odor, but I was fresh as a flower. I continued slicing. There it was again! The distinctive smell of a dirty, sweaty, un-deodorized armpit! I looked around for my teenage boys but they were nowhere to be found. I looked at the pretty red tomato. Couldn't be... but it was! I took a deep breath near the cutting board, and indeed, my tomato smelled like an armpit.

I put the knife down. Now what? I considered eating it anyway. Maybe the other ingredients would mask the odor. But it was too gross to contemplate: Armpit Caprese? No, there is something intrinsically wrong with that. So I tossed the tomato in the trash.

But what to do?? Fresh basil and fresh mozzarella don't have a long shelf life. I was standing there ready for my Caprese salad. I wanted it. So I decided to try something new. I looked in the fridge for an appropriate tomato substitute and found...

Strawberries!

Yeah, I know. You're thinking, what?? Strawberries in a Caprese? But yes. That is exactly what I did. I cubed the fresh berries and the cheese, sliced the basil, and tossed them together with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper. I also added a tiny bit of Balsamic vinegar, simply because I know Balsamic vinegar tastes good with strawberries:


Oh it was SO good! I knew I was taking a risk with this. It would either be really yummy or disgusting. It worked! The berries were a bit tart and a little sweet and tasted fantastic with the cheese. The fresh basil really *made the dish* though. It was so good that I made another bowl the next day, instead of buying a tomato!

Strawberry Caprese Salad! This is going into my regular winter rotation. If you're craving a bit of summer but wary of those winter (possible armpit) tomatoes, try this! I think it tastes fine with or without the vinegar... when you make it, try it without and then add Balsamic if you feel like it. A perfect forkful with berry, cheese, and basil in one bite is just heavenly!


28 comments:

anotherFATgirl said...

OH YUM! That looks good! I'm not a big tomoto fan, but I do like cheeeeese and strawberries! And of course BASIL! That's my favorite HERBBB! I could put in in with anything!

BrendaKaye said...

Those pictures are so pretty. Yum! I will have to try this!!

Diana said...

That does look yummy! Oh I miss strawberries :)

moonduster said...

I don't think I would have ever thought of combining those ingredients!

Tina said...

I just drooled on the keyboard. What a great idea! MUST try. Sorry about the tomato. I had a similar problem with strawberries a few weeks ago!

Sarah said...

I've done this! Delish!

Andra said...

I love strawberries, basil and balsamic in a salad! I usually pair mine with goat cheese but the fresh mozzarella sounds like a really nice idea, too. Since it's so creamy and strawberries go so well with cream.

Sarabei said...

This sounds oh so good!! Thanks for sharing.

kathyj333 said...

I think you may be onto something. Sounds wonderful.

I'm left wondering what was wrong with the tomato though?

Patsy said...

Weird about the tomato... I don't know why, but your post reminded me of when I took fenugreek capsules to help encourage my milk to flow again after I gave birth (long story!) It sort of worked, but the smell on my skin made it seem as though I hadn't washed or worn deodorant in weeks (well, I could smell it!) so I stopped...

Lissa said...

Lyn, avoid hothouse tomatoes and beefsteak tomatoes, go ONLY for the vine-ripened tomatoes. (Or Roma, I suppose -- my husband likes those -- but I swear by the vine-ripened ones.) If you're in doubt, sniff just the VINE -- so delicious, you'll know it's not armpit!

Previously Plump... in progress said...

oh yum! that sounds soooo good.

I sggest you try strawberries, lettuce, onions, goat cheese and a rasberry vingarette - it tastes sooo good.

Thanks for the recipe!

Lauren said...

So unusual--I love it! I'm a big fan of fruits paired with nontraditional flavors, I'll have to try this. See how excited you were about finding a new fresh, healthy snack! You are truly changed, Lyn!

midlife_swimmer said...

armpit tomatoes... that just cracks me up!

I like fruit plain, I am weird that way.

Actual Scale said...

lol, I was buying tomatoes today & telling myself I would regreat buying them because they will probably be flavorless but I want some fresh tomato slices for these SW burgers I have planned. I sure hope to heck they don't smell like armpits! lol

Good choice w/the strawberries! I've seen that before but have never tried it...might just have to.

Best wishes,
Lynn

Hadley said...

Oh wow! That looks delicious. I never would've thought of combining those before, but you see and it just works.

I don't quite trust myself around mozzarella just yet, but I'm definitely putting this on my "some day" list.

kelly said...

Looks so good!

Karen in Tennessee said...

LOL...it sounds like you tweaked my famous tomato/cheese old family recipe. Sorry your tomato wasn't more cooperative but so glad you came up with a good use for the other stuff. The photos look great.

Hopeful said...

Oh...how I miss strawberries!! Balsalmic glazed strawberries are fabulous!! It was a great idea Lyn!

screwdestiny said...

Lol! Fortunately I have never run into an armpit tomato, just very bland ones. That looks pretty good to me. I always use balsamic vinegar on my caprese salads anyway.

Julia said...

That looks so good.
Apple may be good in it too as it goes great with cheese.

Julia
http://juliasjourney-finally.blogspot.com/

Steelers6 said...

Haha thanks for the laugh Lyn. Armpit Caprese stacks just cracked me up.

Wow, my gourmet friend, quite impressive! I feel humbled in your presence. haha Chrissy

Chibi Jeebs said...

How disappointing with the tomatoes! Glad you found a good sub. :)

Red peppers have a... I can't even describe it, but a SMELL that is off, which makes them taste AWFUL. C won't even try to pick them out any more because he can't smell it. You should *see* the looks I get in the grocery store! hehe

Miz said...

ok BEST TITLE EVER, Lyn :)

Totally made me laugh.
read.
covet your foodlovliness.


Miz.

Claire said...

I gave you an award! Visit my blog to find out what.

kelly said...

If you can find Cherubs brand grape tomatoes, they are fantastic. Sweet, plump - so, so yummy. Your salad looks great!

Melissa said...

I just saw this and thought of you. Beets!

http://mangotomato.blogspot.com/2010/01/beet-mozzarella-and-basil-salad.html

All Women Stalker said...

Yummmm, it just looks wonderful. I loves me some of those!