Lucky Duck shares his favorite summer dishes

Heirloom tomato salad

Lucky Duck loves eating heirloom tomato salad with Pinot Grigio and basil lemon water on a hot summer evening.

Isn’t summertime food super delicious and fresh? And in the summer, aren’t you inspired to eat healthy? Yes! And yes! I went to Met Market today and was thrilled to see that heirloom tomatoes are on sale right now. I grabbed a plastic yellow organic produce bag and loaded up on heirloom tomatoes in every color: red, burgundy, orange, yellow, and green. I knew it was my lucky day because I could make tomato salad for dinner.

Tonight, I decided to cut my tomatoes in big chunks, which means that I’d be eating this salad on its own with a fork. If you cut the tomatoes a lot smaller, you can spoon the salad on melba toast or bread. Either way you want to serve it, the same recipe remains. And the recipe is easy. So easy that if you want a fantastic result, you’ve got to pay attention to the ingredients you put in it. So if you want to know the tastiest extra virgin oil, read on!

It serves two. Just mix these ingredients together, and you’re set.

One medium sized heirloom tomato in every color you want to include in your salad. I recommend red, yellow, orange, and green.
3/4 pound fresh hand pulled mozzerella.
Fresh basil to taste. I like a lot.
Fresh ground salt and pepper to taste.
Extra virgin olive oil to taste.
Aged balsamic vinegar to taste.

Neus Extra Virgin Olive Oil, hands down the best flavor out there. It’s $20.00 in specialty grocery stores, so don’t pour it into boiling water when you’re making spaghetti. Use it for dipping bread or in salads, and savor it. It will last a long time, and you’ll agree that it’s worth the money.

Neus olive oil

Maletti 6 yr. balsamic vinegar is awesome. It has a cool cork pouring spout, which makes it convenient to serve. And when you pour it, it’s a little thick and has the nicest flavor. You can pour it over strawberries or ice-cream (yes, ice-cream), salads, meats, yum. Very very yum.

Aceto Balsamico Di Modena Aged Balsamic Vinegar

Ok, basil. It’s great to just clip the leaves up with kitchen shears. And then take a few leaves left over and float them in your lemon ice water for a refreshing beverage.

Using the kitchen shears brought back a funny memory. After Mike and I were married, our first fight was over these kitchen shears. Mike had used them to open a hard plastic case for our HDMI cable, and I lost it.

When we were planning our wedding, Mike had a blog going called Grumpy Groom, and his blog post about the kitchen shear controversy was my favorite post. Grumpy Groom is now defunct, so you can’t find it (sad!), but in its hey-dey, Mike, the blog, and I were featured in the New York Times. The Mother-in-Law’s Manual reblogged the story.

The article by Vincent M. Mallozzi, in the New York Times, says this:

Mike Harms, a 39-year-old director of business strategy at Microsoft in Redmond, Wash., became engaged to Shannon Truax in October.  At first, he said he was “supercynical about marriage.”

“So my first response was to defer to my fiancée for all the planning,” he said. “But as we went along, I realized that I was helping her create a great experience, so I actually began to enjoy it.”

Mr. Harms, whose wedding is scheduled for Dec. 7 at the Ritz-Carlton in Sarasota, Fla., found information helpful to grooms on, and eventually began posting his own blogs on the site (

“I totally understand that some grooms want nothing to do with their wedding day, but what I try to point out is that some aspects of it can actually be fun,” he said. “Personally, I have been learning through trial and error, but at this point, my responsibilities include putting together the guest list, the honeymoon, even my own bachelor party.”

In speaking of Mike, he roasted corn on the grill tonight for Lucky Duck and me. I’m so lucky!

Roasted corn on the grill

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