when life gives you lemons


oh, i was brimming with insight and optimism; i took time off from running, gave my injury time to heal, and spent those precious extra hours with my son, marveling at all the things were learning together. things were really starting to look up last weekend when i finished a ten-mile long run that left me hopeful - if not confident - for a return to my former athletic glory. but this stubborn tendinitis had different plans and my injury has since flared up with a vengeance. now i'm back to square one, with no running in the foreseeable future and all this free time on my hands again.

so, the other day, when i found myself lying awake at 6:30am with two and a half hours until work and an energetic boy jabbering away in the room next door, i took august with me outside to enjoy the late summer morning. we won't have too many more of these, i simultaneously hoped and lamented (both hoping for my injury to heal and lamenting the end of the season).

still dressed in pajamas, we walked out with our bare feet in the dewy grass, around the side of the house to our vegetable garden, and there they were: three fat and gorgeous yellow tomatoes, bright as the morning sun. they are called lemon boys and if that isn't the universe sending a message then i don't know what is. you know what they say about life when it gives you lemons, don't you? make lemon boy tomato salad!

so here it is: a simple recipe to remind us that even adversities can be fruitful and there are moments every day to be savored.

there isn't much to this salad, just five ingredients: tomatoes, peaches, basil, burrata cheese, and balsamic reduction. now, i usually shy away from recipes that have specialty ingredients because a) they're usually hard to find in regular markets and b) as much as i appreciate good food, i have a hard time spending the extra buck. that said, even though you may not have heard of burrata, it's not as exotic as it may sound. it can be found in the cheese section of most grocery stores and at a price that is comparable to it's less creamy cousin, mozzarella. it is a fresh italian cheese that is soft and buttery and it totally makes this dish. take the time to look for it at your local grocer, it's worth it!


1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tomatoes, cut into pieces
2 peaches, cut into pieces
6 ounces burrata cheese, cut into pieces
freshly torn basil

the balsamic reduction is the most "laborious" part of the preparation. i put that in quotes because all it really means is that this step just takes a bit more time than the rest, but not necessarily more work. pour the balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan, heat over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. once it's rolling, drop the heat to low and let it simmer, swirling the pan occasionally, until the liquid has reduced to about half of the original amount (15 minutes, maybe). that's it. then remove it from the heat and set aside. the hard part is done!

while the balsamic is reducing, place the tomatoes and peaches on a platter or plate, top with burrata chunks and torn basil. drizzle the balsamic reduction over the salad and BAM! a happy little salad that tastes as rich and sweet as these dwindling summer days.

buon appetito!


Petra said...

yum. looks and sounds delicious. I had no idea that there is such a thing as lemon boy tomatoes :)

Sarah McConnell said...

This looks so delicious! And those tomatoes are gorgeous. Is the flavor much different than an ordinary tomato? (PS, love the way you're looking on the bright side with this post. I pray you feel optimistic again soon!)

Christine Dinsmore said...

that looks so good! savoring those simple moments and accepting the signs from the universe is key. i am trying to remember that lately, so this is a great post for me to read! xo

Amy S. said...

That's such a bummer about the tendinitis...I have it in one of my shoulders. But hopefully you'll be back to your usual self in no time!

And that salad looks so tasty! I love balsamic vinegar... When I was in upstate NY a few months ago, I went to a specialty store with my aunt and got strawberry, and also maple balsamic to bring home to MT with me. I've been trying to find interesting ways to use them lately!

Heather @ Run Like a G! said...

I hope your injury heals so you can get back to running!!!
That recipe looks amazing!!!!

Isa said...

Dude your blog is awesome! Not to mention this looks delicious :) So glad to have found it! Your life is beautiful, and your outlook on life even more beautiful :)

belle + compass

Eatlovemerry said...

Thanks for sharing! x

The forma giveaway!

Ursula said...

Those tomatoes are gorgeous. I love heirloom tomatoes because they make me think of farmer's markets in the summer. Can't wait to check this recipe out to savour the last of summer.

lucinda said...

you know, i'm not sure if the name influenced my taste buds, but they really did seem to have a citrus-y flavor, shich worked really well with the rest of the ingreients! and thanks, friend. ;)

lucinda said...

hehe, yes. signs are everywhere, we just need to keep our eyes open for them!

lucinda said...

ooo, cool. balsamic and strawberry are such a classic (and wonderful) pairing. throw some avocado and pistachios in there over a handul of greens and you've got a pretty amazing salad there!
i hope your tendinitis gets better soon too - it's such a [literal] pain, isn't it?

lucinda said...

aw, thanks friend, i hope so too!

lucinda said...

hahaha. cool, hope you enjoy it!

Tanya Jean said...

Oh goodness, this looks absolutely scrumptious!!!
xo TJ


Erin said...

This looks so delicious and it seems like the ingredients will balance each other out perfectly. Maybe I'll find an excuse to have another picnic even though we're past Labor Day at this point.


lucinda said...

mmmm, mm! ;)

lucinda said...

they really do! i hope you have a chance to try the recipe, let me know what you think!

Hannah Smith | fox and willow said...

i've never even heard of lemon boys! how funny. but- that salad looks sooo good! bummer about your injury, i hope it will heal soon for you!

Kif said...

those yellow tomatoes look amazing. love fall and all the harvest it brings. : )

Mystery said...

WOW - drooling over my keyboard right now. Sounds divine and looking forward to giving it a bash over the weekend! Thank you for the recipe. Hope i can find all the ingredients!

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