Drizzle the Hot Bacon Over the Fresh Tomatoes
Summer tomatoes can easily become overpriced. After all, they are one of the most seasonal delicacies out there, and skewing their summer fresh flavor may not seem right.
But you shouldn’t feel this way. Despite what purists and haters (myself included) may have said, there really isn’t a wrong way to eat a tomato. There are endless ways to consume this particular product, and their versatility should be welcomed, not avoided. This is all to say that you are not allowed to yell at me when I tell you that you should sprinkle hot bacon fat on fresh chopped tomatoes. Don’t boo me because I’m right.
If you feel a cry in your stomach, pause and think about the other oils you doused with tomatoes. I bet you used olive. I bet you liked it. Olive oil is not exactly a soft oil – it has a distinct peppery flavor – but even the purest purists would recommend using it on fresh tomatoes.
Be that as it may, bacon and fat is one of the best tastes. If you don’t filter it, it often contains bits of smoked bacon, and the smoky, salty, greasy taste is really excellent on sweet, sour tomatoes. The hot fat fizzles slightly on the tender fruit, making it a cross between raw and very tender cooked. The pungent tomato juice is mixed with the fat to form a vinaigrette on site. Although it is one of the most salty fats, the bacon fat is not so salty that a little sodium chloride cannot be added. A pinch of Maldon is good, as is a couple of ground fresh peppers. You could stop there and be quite happy.
But why would you stop there? Why don’t you go ahead and make the caprese with fatty bacon? The hot fat with smoked bacon not only gives a new look to the classic salad, it also softens the basil and softens the mozzarella slightly, making the salad warmer and more hospitable, dare I say southern.
You can use the fat from a fresh skillet with freshly cooked bacon, but you can also heat up the fat you have saved from past breakfasts. Just make sure it’s very hot – almost steaming – before you pour it over your pretty tomato slices. The grease should pop and hiss when it hits the product – that’s a really great sound.