Salads are ideal for improvisation, and what better time to improvise then the height of the main harvest season?
I don’t like my salads to be a mess of ingredients, being a big fan of a mix of greens, a bit of olive oil and lemon sprinkled on. Having said that, a creative mix of ingredients that gives a salad some interest and bite is very appealing. I started nosing around in our front garden, where the only greens that haven’t bolted at this stage were the romaine lettuces. I picked some red basil and parsley in the neighbouring herb garden. Down in the greenhouse I added purslane, red salad bowl lettuce and mizuna mustard greens, all planted much more recently.
Sure as shooting, our greenhouse tomatoes started producing some ripe specimens at the very end of July. We may be in a drought and an unusually hot and dry season overall, but the tomatoes are right on time. Most are still green, but I found a few ready for the salad, along with a puny specimen of a green pepper (I have totally failed at peppers this year).
Back up at the house, I was on the hunt for what to add to my salad bowl, not wanting to stop there. I still had the tops of some green onions that I’d picked in the greenhouse yesterday, so those were added. Right on the counter was a punnet of yellow plums, and in the pantry I had some pecans, so those went in too.
For a dressing, I quickly blended together a tablespoon of dijon mustard, some olive oil and a bit of white wine vinegar, with just a bit of salt and pepper. The resulting salad was extremely pretty and lovely and light to eat.
I wish I could eat like this all year round.