As the weather gets a bit cooler, there’s a resurgence of lovely types of greens that don’t really like the heat of August. And you can still find wonderful, fresh salad items like tomatoes and figs and blackberries. I read somewhere that a new type of sprout – from sunflower seeds – is the latest rage among professional chefs, so I pounced on that, too, when it showed up at my local Whole Foods.
So I have to finish packing, but here are three of the salads I liked the most this week.
Summer may be over, but you can still get good watermelon, and the corn season isn’t done yet either. So I diced some watermelon, piled it on top of some lovely organic watercress – another of those greens with a bit of peppery bite – and crumbled some goat cheese on top. Then because I had one last ear of corn that I’d carried down from New Jersey, I cut the kernels off and sprinkled them – uncooked, which is a wonderful way to eat them – around the plate. With the goat cheese, I thought the salad deserved a bit of herb-y dressing, so I used the parsley-shallot vinaigrette I posted on August 31.
Poppy Seed Dressing
⅓ cup sugar
⅓ cup cider vinegar
1 cup salad oil (vegetable or canola)
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon freshly grated onion
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
Mix all ingredients together in a jar. Serve over fruit salad or salad of arugula or fresh spinach with bacon bits and mandarin orange slices. Shake well before pouring.
* * *
So be brave – take a trip to the grocery store and see what’s around. Salads are so wonderfully flexible; you can change the proportions to focus on whatever ingredients are your favorites. And don’t forget to add a little kosher salt (or sea salt) and freshly ground pepper after you dress your salad.
I’ll be back October 5th.