Is there a word for the fear of missing something just before it's gone? This goes far deeper than simple FOMO...it's like a visceral reaction to something that's just about to leave a gaping hole in your life for some time. Not to sound overly dramatic, but I go through some version of this feeling every year when tomato season ends. Late summer is a glorious time for ripe tomatoes, and when it ends in late September (approximately five seconds from now), I can't help but think back in a panic over all the fresh salsas I could have made, all the juicy sandwiches I could have enjoyed, all the amazing salads I could have served. Whatever this feeling is, it deserves a word (do the Germans have one? Someone call the Germans).
Looking to make the most of the last five seconds of peak tomato season? Here's a quick recipe that packs in huge handfuls of tiny, delicious tomatoes, healthful grains, and a glamorous co-star that deserves equal billing: fresh goat cheese rolled in finely chopped sunflower seeds and za'atar spice mix. Bursting with sunshiney flavor from the tomatoes and basil, yet possessing an autumnal richness from chewy grains and creamy chevre, this dish helps to bridge the harvest season gap between summer and fall to perfection. Get this on the table tonight before that seasonal-melancholy-that-must-not-be-named sets in!
8 oz. fresh goat cheese
1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup za'atar spice mix
1 cup uncooked farro
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
salt & pepper
1/4 cup chopped shallot
3 cups heirloom cherry tomatoes (the more colorful, the better)
Finely chop the sunflower seeds with a sharp knife, sprinkle on a plate. Sprinkle with za'atar mix. Roll goat cheese into small balls of about a teaspoon each (the size of a large marble), then roll each ball in the seed & spice mixture. Set aside on a clean plate and refrigerate.
In a large pot, combine farro and stock, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover pot and simmer until farro is chewy-tender, about 15-20 minutes. Fluff with fork and spread on a large platter to cool.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, honey and basil, taste and add salt & pepper to your preference. Add shallot & cherry tomatoes, toss until well combined. To serve, place tomato mixture on top of cooled farro, placing refrigerated goat cheese balls here and there on top of the salad.