Summer Salad – Everything That’s Good
As August’s late summer tomatoes turn to September’s very late summer figs, I resist the urge to somersault into Autumn quite yet. Thus I present you with a quintessentially summer salad, the kind that doesn’t need any embellishment or flourish of meat, nuts or cheese. Not that these aren’t lovely things to add to a salad. But when you have a balcony full of cherry tomatoes, a farmer’s market and summer’s bounty still within reach, take advantage and keep it vegetal. A light slick of a lemon Dijon dressing and maybe a baguette is all that’s needed in addition. Though a bit of sun can help– to hold on to that innocent denial of summer’s impermanence.
Recipe: Seasonal Summer Salad with Lemon Dijon Dressing
– a large bunch of fresh micro-greens, ideally purslane (which is actually considered a “weed”, but has gained popularity in the US as an extremely nutrient-packed salad green, however it is fairly common in Europe in the Summer)
– one large carrot, sliced diagonally
– one yellow or orange pepper
– one avocado
– ¼ kilo cherry or grape tomatoes
– 2-3 scallions, thinly sliced
– a few Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped (optional)
for the dressing
– one very small clove of garlic, chopped finely
– ¼ cup good quality olive oil
-1 tsp Dijon mustard
– ¼ tsp sugar
– juice from ½ lemon
– salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Wash purslane and remove the most hardy parts of the stems. Tear coarsly and set aside.
2. Wash, trim, peel and/or chop carrot, pepper, avocado and tomatoes into bite-size pieces and place into a large bowl. Add the finely sliced scallions (and olives, if desired).
3. Make dressing: chop the garlic very finely and add a pinch of salt. With the side of the knife, rub the salt into the garlic to create a paste. Put into a small glass or jar. Add the olive oil, Dijon mustard, sugar and lemon juice and whisk together to emulsify. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Add purslane over the other vegetables and pour salad dressing over the top. Gently toss together to evenly mix the salad and coat with dressing.
5. Serve with a baguette and some extra olive oil. In the sunshine.