Okinawa Tomato, Avocado, Gorgonzola Salad

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Okinawa's winter gets cold, or atleast feels cold, but summer returned on Saturday when I made this easy lunch. Summertime is my favorite time of year, or any day that's warm with blue skies and sun-kissed skin. Must be the Santa Barbaran in me!

Cam was on 24-hour duty at work, so I headed to the beach with a book, journal, and thank you cards to write. I just wanted to soak it all up, and breath in every moment of this beautiful time on Okinawa that seems to be going too fast.


When I walked back, there were so many fishermen out, knee-deep in the turquoise water, bringing in nets full of shellfish and buckets of small fish. I bowed my head and yelled back "konnichiwa!" and walked the dirt path that cuts through rows of lettuce, cabbage, green beans, tomatoes, daikon, herbs and potatoes, where our farmer neighbors were all hard at work. One always has a cigar or pipe hanging from his mouth {even at 8am...he's hilarious} as he tills his land or is picking vegetables.

The huge, friendly smile and waves are always from our favorite, who treats me like a granddaughter. I talked with his wife while she cut off heads of cabbage with a sickle, filling a large basket... and my arms, too!

Before leaving to bring Cam dinner, I took in a long look around me. The sun was starting to set over the iridescent blue water, rows of vegetables bathed in it's golden light, and my cute neighbors in sunhats walking through them, still laughing from our conversation, carrying their huge plastic baskets full of produce to make dinner. I'm really, really thankful we get to live here.


They teach us over and over again about the importance of natural, whole, local food. Our bodies thrive on it. Meals don't have to be complex when the ingredients are fresh. Actually, I think the simpler, the better so flavors aren't masked, but fully & naturally enjoyed. Living amidst one of the freshest and healthiest diets in the entire world truly inspires and fuels what I cook each day! I am so grateful to be learning from them.


Tomatoes are seasonal here right now and growing like crazy in all our neighbors' gardens.

You already know we're serious tomato lovers! Cam eats them like an apple. So it's no surprise I like to eat a whole bowl of them. Made with avocado, fresh basil, gorgonzola and red onions in olive oil and balsamic, it's a flavorful go-to lunch for anyone looking for something easy and nutritional. This is an Italian dish, yes, but made with Okinawan produce. Both cultures share the same emphasis on fresh, local, healthy ingredients for meals.


Tomato, Avocado & Gorgonzola Salad
{per serving}

1 1/2 C diced fresh tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes
1/4 red onion, diced
1/3 avocado, sliced
small handful of crumbled gorgonzola or your favorite cheese
1 piece of crusty bread, broken into pieces
fresh basil
sea salt & pepper for taste
EVOO
Balsamic vinegar

Add the tomatoes, red onion, avocado, basil, cheese and bread in a bowl. Be careful not to add too much bread since there's already a good amount of natural sugar in tomatoes. Drizzle in as much EVOO and balsamic as you like and toss together with a bit of salt and pepper for taste.

11 comments:

  1. No need to apologize for the diary-like entry; I loved it. It made me realize that it's been awhile since I've written something like that. I felt like I was there with you that day.

    That salad looks delicious and I'm slightly jealous tomatoes and avocados are plentiful for you right now—that's definitely not the case over here.

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  2. such a contrast to Tokyo where i've been finding fresh produce to be really hard (or maybe just really expensive) to come by. enjoying your blog!

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  3. Oh my goodness gracious, this looks absolutely amazing. It sounds/looks so beautiful there. xo, Maria

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  4. Dear Amanda,
    I loved your diary entry. And the salad too! You had me at avocado.
    Sincerely,
    Ashley

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  5. gorgeous purple flowers!! and the goat looks like he's saying "Hey - what are you lookin' at?? So I like basil. What's it to 'ya?"
    love,
    lanneybear

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  6. No apology needed! I think we all love your diary-like entries :-). Makes me so jealous of the beautiful fields filled with fresh veggies that you live among! I long to live with that at my fingertips. This year we do have a renewed commitment to gardening...still have several months yet before we can get going though! But your recipes are always a beautiful inspiration of that healthful simplicity that you speak of. Hope your day has been a good one so far :-)

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  7. holy moly that looks delightful. okay i'm like 7 post behind so onto reading I go! xoxo

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  8. That looks so good and I love how beautifully you told the story. I felt like I was right there with you!

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  9. Diary away, my dear. Your public demands it, clearly. And I love it.

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  10. omg mands this is just magical. this whole post! i want to be living your lifeeee xxx

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  11. Yum that looks delicious! I caught up on posts today and glad to hear you had a great Christmas and New years!

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