The Summer Salad - A Tutorial
These past weeks I have been soaking up the brilliant summer phytochemicals available at every grocery store, farmers market, and restaurant in town. Several years ago I entered a new realm of salad making - winter is for leafy greens. I live in the south so winter greens do grow here in the winter. When I lived in the northeast it was slim pickins at the market in the winter. But this isn't about winter! This is about summer! Summer is for juicy, sweet, succulent salads. Tomatoes, peaches, cantaloupe, watermelon, HERBS, cucumber, zucchini, spicy and sweet peppers, sweet summer corn, BERRIES, figs, all can be eaten raw - just chop them up and throw them with some other stuff and eat them.
No need to think too hard about making a salad when your ingredients are at the height of the season and fresh. Something sweet, something tart, something zingy, something aromatic, plus good quality extra virgin olive oil. Serve it with some grilled or baked fish or tofu, alone, or with hearty whole grains or beans. A couple examples:
Add extra virgin olive oil to all and toss to coat.
Tomato - peach - red onion - basil - balsamic - s & p. (grain addition: farro)
Watermelon - thinly sliced jalapeno - feta - red onion - mint - s & p (grain addition: quinoa)
Very thinly sliced zucchini (use a mandolin) - toasted pine nuts - lemon zest and juice - s & p (bean addition - chickpeas)
Cucumber - cantaloupe - sliced black olives - fresh thyme leaves - s & p (grain addition: farro)
Corn sliced off the cob - diced sweet peppers - toasted pumpkin seeds - cumin - cilantro - lime juice - s & p (grain addition: brown rice, Bean addition: black beans)
Blueberries - slivered almonds - tender baby lettuces - avocado - balsamic - basil - s & p (grain addition: quinoa)
yum yum yum. yum yum yum.
Please, tell me your favorite summer salad.