Summer Salads – 2020

The eating has escalated through COVID but August is the month to just eat. The vegetables and fruit at the farmers’ market is peaking with flavor and color. It might be September but I am still thinking about these salads.

These salads have been some of my faves this summer. Number one is probably this one. Soft, warm, luscious mozzarella balls are a staple here. Putting the mozzarella in the refrigerator is sacrilegious. Slices peaches, chunks of mozzarella, cherry or Sungold tomatoes sliced in half, tossed with a fresh pesto sauce. If you have croutons, they could be a nice addition. Toss with a little bit of Maldon over the top.

Chickpeas are a good staple for the vegetarians in your life. Canned or dry chickpeas that are soaked overnight and boiled down can be used. We used the latter. Chickpeas, sliced celery (including the fronds), tons of chopped basil, chunky slices of a crumbly Parmesan cheese. Dressing: Whisk together 3 tbsp. sherry vinegar and 1/2 tsp. honey or maple syrup. Slowly keep whisking in olive oil (1/4-1/2 cup) depending on how vinegary you like your dressing – salt and pepper and mix again. Can hang in the fridge for a few days too.

Blue cheese wedge is a classic and can be enjoyed at any time of the year. But the tomatoes can not. Big chunks of iceberg lettuce doused just enough in a blue cheese dressing and topped with sliced cherry tomatoes and or Sungold tomatoes. For the carnivores out there, just add super crispy bacon or pork belly to take it up a notch. Mix together 4 ounces or more if you desire of blue cheese or Roquefort of your liking with 1/4 cup buttermilk, 2 tbsp. mayo, 1 tbsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. hot sauce, 1 tsp. lemon juice and a shot of Worcestershire sauce. Pour.

Tuna Nicoise. You can see everything there. Sliced rare grilled tuna, capers, chopped Nicoise olives, sliced beefsteak tomatoes, blanched green beans, chunks of soft Yukon gold potatoes, thick sliced cucumbers, and a bunch of mix baby greens on the bottom and for good measure chopped fresh basil over that. Make a classic French vinegarette (1 T. Dijon mustard, 3 T red wine vinegar, 9 T olive oil), and toss. Close your eyes and have a glass of Rose and pretend you are sitting on the French Rivera.

The good memories of summer 2020. There had to be some.