Tomato Salad with Balsamic Reduction, Bacon & Fresh Mint

I have to admit that for the first time in my life I am truly eating seasonally. Opting out of the standard American diet can be difficult at times, but this is not one of those moments. Although we buy out of season produce at the grocery mart, these in season delicacies are really blowing my mind. Tomatoes are really seasonal in late August? Who would have thunk it? More and more conventional stores are embracing seasonal and local produce, and for me I’ve found that although it has been a tricky growing season, the CSA and the Farm have no shortage of great finds. I am truly blessed to have such great quality food at my fingertips. I am realizing what produce is really supposed to taste like, I’m preserving the taste and memory. 

Tomatoes are an absolute staple in my home. We eat tomatoes a lot throughout the year primarily in the form of sauces and salsa. I worked hard to really try and preserve my own tomatoes for the first time this year. Although tomatoes can be a tricky product to process I made plenty of salsa and tomato sauce. I froze some tomatoes, I froze some sauce, I made this delicious salad in between. Appreciating fresh, raw tomatoes is not something you can do every day. I remember as a kid my Aunt making tomato sandwiches in the summer, I can remember thinking “HOW IN THE WORLD IS THIS SO YUMMY?“… I now know the answer is timing. Although we may not have enough tomatoes to last us through the year I appreciate being afforded the luxury of hoarding some for later. This simple sliced tomato salad is rustic, but there is no shortage of complexity. Fresh mint from my garden (-Insert Laughter Here- I kill everything I touch. My “garden” consists of sage and mint… and compost.) a sprinkle of salt, pepper and bacon and a perfectly tart reduction of balsamic vinegar. Luxurious, juicy, sweet and seasonal tomatoes transform from extraordinarily tasty to a full blown party in your mouth. 

Slice Tomatoes into approximately 1/4″ slices. Lay out onto a platter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 
Prepare Reduction by placing balsamic vinegar into a a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir to prevent scorching. Allow to boil and bubble until reduced and thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste, stir in up to one tablespoon of honey if desired to sweeten.
Drizzle sauce over top of tomatoes, sprinkle the salad with chopped mint and bacon.