Thursday, September 07, 2006

End-of-summer harvest salad

We had this for dinner last night, and it hardly warrants a recipe. Here in the upper midwest, the beginning of September brings with it a chill in the air, early sunsets, and that wistful feeling that another summer has gone by. The first frost is still a few weeks away, but the vegetables in your garden or farmers' market are fewer and thinner, and they've lost their mid-summer sweetness, a warning that winter is not so far off. Just what do you do with a handful of beans? A couple of leftover potatoes? The last few succulent pear tomatoes?



Find a large plate or shallow bowl and line the bottom with lettuce. Pile all kinds of things on top, like steamed green beans, fresh tomatoes, avocado slices, green onion, boiled wax potatoes, chopped parsley, chickpeas, boiled egg, bell pepper and croutons made from slightly stale bread tossed with olive oil and garlic salt and baked in a hot oven for about 10 minutes. (It really doesn't matter what you put in there, as long as it's fresh.) Mix up a dressing using olive oil, crushed garlic, red wine vinegar, mustard, brown sugar, and a dash of kosher salt. Toss the dressing in the mélange at the last minute.

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