23 August 2013
It is finally hitting me that most of August has gone by. When its time to turn the calendar to the next page, there will be hints of leaves changing color, speculation about frost, and the smell of cinnamon and spices from some corners. I don't have to tell you that the summer has flown by but I will say that when I look back at the past couple of months I can't quite say where they all went. I think I spent most of this summer sitting inside nursing Amos. But I did make it to several farmers' markets, walked across the stone arch bridge at least twice, went to Harriet Island, and ate more ice cream than I have during any other summer that I can remember. And, as I keep reminding myself, its not over.
Here in Minnesota we are at the peak of good local eating. Tomatoes and corn are abundant, I might be able to find some good melons and in the next several weeks the fall crops will gradually appear, but lets not talk about that yet.
One of the ways I most often use and enjoy summer produce is by throwing it into a salad. I skip the lettuce and fill a bowl with chopped vegetables often accompanied by a grain, a bean, some cheese or all three. I've been picking a handful of fresh herbs (basil, thyme, oregano, and mint) chopping them finely and tossing those in with salt, pepper, a couple glugs of olive oil and enough vinegar to make it interesting but not overpower the other flavors.
I can't get enough summer vegetables and a salad meal is a delicious way to enjoy them. A few of my favorites have been: quinoa and lentils with tomatoes, parmesan, sauteed zucchini and kale; black beans, corn, scallions, tomatoes and cilantro; chickpeas, quinoa, red peppers, cucumbers and scallions. It's all so good you can't go wrong.