So this is it, the “end of summer” post. The chance to bid farewell to hot days, long nights, and amazing food. It really hit me last weekend. I was browsing around the farmer’s market and everywhere I looked there were hints of fall. Squashes of all shapes and sizes were mounded at every stand from quintessential round, orange pumpkins to my favorite bell-shaped butternuts, to the oddest assortments of lumpy, crooked, and cankered looking things that I’m not even sure how to cook. I even spotted some emerald heads of broccoli that I sorely regret passing up. But the buzz of the market came when one long-awaited truck pulled up late, harboring the very last supply of the summer’s sweet corn. I swear I’ve never seen such a rush of market-goers in my life elbowing to the front of the line for their cherished two-dozen ears. It was sheer mania. And yes I did get some, three plump ears for a mere dollar. They made for an outstanding lunch. I boiled them up, cut he kernels of the cob and tossed them with a simple mix of butter, parsley, cherry tomatoes, feta, and salt and pepper. I used the knife to scrape ever bit of warm, milky sweetness from the cob into my bowl which melted and mixed with the cheese to make a salty and tangysauce. It was a great way to end the harvest.
But now its fall, which is actually my favorite season for both the food and the weather. I love the root vegetables. I absolutely love the apples and pears. I love hot coffee on crisp mornings and warm pies on cool evenings. I love the hues of rust red, ochre, and goldenrod. I love corn mazes and pumpkin patches and apple cider and mulled wine. Fall is my elixir. And though the transition into the season in compliance with tropical storms galore made this past week miserable cold and drizzly, I sit here with my just purchased fall issue of Food Network magazine patiently waiting for the typical Autumn days. School has begun, stress has settled in, Senioritis is nagging at me, but fall will get me through. It always has.
But I’ll leave you with one last hurrah for summer. A semi-recipe that makes use of the leftover bits and bobs of summer produce. It’s a meatless nicoise salad of sorts made from leftovers and essentially made to suit your tastes and whatever is in the house. The dressing is just an estimate in terms of amounts but use your own judgment to make it how you think you would like it. So here it is.
Last of Summer Salad for One
A handful of leftover potatoes, chopped roughly
A handful of leftover green beans, chopped roughly
1 boiled egg, chopped (reserve half the yolk for the dressing)
Toasted almonds, chopped
Real Parmesan cheese shavings
2 parts olive oil
2 parts white wine vinegar
1 part plain yogurt or sour cream
½ part Dijon mustard
The reserve half of the egg yolk
Salt and pepper
Mix the salad ingredients expect the Parmesan together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients until the egg yolk broken up and well incorporated. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Top with the Parmesan and extra salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy outside, in the sun, with a cool glass of wine or sparkling fruit juice.