The basil’s been doing just fine this summer, and we’ve been finding lots of uses for it, too — from little garnishes for our drinks, to herby pestos, to great little additions to tomato sauces. Now that the cucumbers and tomatoes are also finally coming into their own in the garden, we’re more than happy to pull together this simple salad on any given evening. (And getting to the tomatoes before our dog, Peter Smith-Kingsley, does, is half the battle. That pooch can sniff out a ripe tomato from across the backyard, and we’ve caught him one too many times pulling the ripest gems from the vine with his adorable little maw.)
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
a few handfuls of tomatoes (halved, quartered or left whole, depending upon size)
1-2 cucumbers, thinly sliced
4-5 basil leaves
extra virgin olive oil
red wine vinegar
Drop the red onion into a bowl and give a bottle of red wine vinegar several turns over it. Gently toss the onions to coat and let them hang out for 20 minutes.
Just before serving, throw together the tomatoes and cucumbers and turn them out onto a platter. Scatter the red onion and roughly tear the basil over it all. Season to taste with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. Drizzle with the olive oil and, if you like, a few tablespoons of any leftover vinegar.