Monday, July 19, 2010

With a skip in my step

I am completely and hopelessly in love. Alas, I am not reporting about a budding romance between myself and another no, I am referring to my long-lasting relationship with summer. Early piercing light, temperatures that soar without the let down of a dip and the song of the morning cicadas all keep me love-drugged. Yes, okay, the humidity of the northeast is a bit of an annoyance, but is any relationship prefect?

I think I am an absolute sufferer of seasonal disorder for come winter I anticipate my spirit to deflate and my sleep pattern to shift. Until the earth changes its tilt I am up, running and perky. My markets seem to be mirroring my state – they are decorated brilliantly with reds, yellows, oranges and greens of my color wheel; shiny gems of summer’s bountiful cornucopia swollen by summer’s light, heat and rain. Everything seems to offer a great snap when bitten into – snap peas, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers and corn all greet my mouth with a coquettish crackle hello. Then following up their allure by releasing sweet seduction that further heightens the pleasure of a summer’s day.

I think that first anxious ray of the day is being spent directly to my bedroom window to make sure I am aroused – ready to start the day and visit the gallery of nature’s progeny, my farmer’s market.

Chopped Salad - yields 6 to 8

1/4 pound pancetta ( a pepper Italian bacon)
1 tablespon canola oil
1 ear of corn - husk and silk hairs removed
1 large red pepper - seeds and membrane removed
1/4-pound yellow wax beans - cut into 1/4 pieces
1 small red onion - diced
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup torn sorrel leaves
1/4 cup Kalamata olives - pitted
1 bunch spinach (approx 4 packed cups) - washed thoroughly and dried
2 cups cauliflower florets

Slice the pancetta into 1/2” long strips. Heat a sauté pan to hot and add the oil along with the pancetta. Cook the pancetta to crispy and then remove to an absorbent surface and reserve.

Cut the kernels of the corn from the ear. The corn is raw, so it should be as farm fresh as possible. Diced the red pepper, yellow wax beans and red onion into 1/2” squares. Roughly chopped the olives and spinach.

Blanch the cauliflower in boiling water for 3 to 4 minutes. They should still have a nice crunch. Refresh under cold water in order to stop the cooking process. Drain.

Toss all the ingredients together along with a approximately 1 cup of Italian dressing (recipe follows).

Italian Dressing - yields approx. 1-1/4 cups
1/4 cup White Wine Vinegar
2 tablespoon basil - leaves chopped
2 teaspoons thyme - leaves only, chopped
1 tablespoon oregano - leaves only, chopped
1 garlic clove - crushed to a paste
1/4-cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients together, except the oil. In a slow stream whisk in the oil until all is incorporated.

No comments: