Thursday, July 19, 2012

crisp, cool and crunchy

I have to confess here. I am currently sitting in a Starbucks ticky tapping away on my laptop while I’m writing this. I’m even drinking a green tea. It’s like I hardly even recognize myself any more. I swore on all that is holy that I would never be a Laptop Loiterer working sucking up all the wifi and the best seat (on the couch next to the outlet with the footstool-score!) but truth be told this is Dickens multitasking at its most ridiculous.

I feel as though I am living in a time warp right now. Where I wake up on Monday morning wondering how I will possibly get All The Things done this week and by the time I’m done scratching the sleep out of my eyes it’s Thursday night and I’m like “Say wait a sec., did I post a blog this week? Did I cook anything this week?” So bear with me on my timing this summer. It’s not you, it’s me and it’s the time warp that happens when you need more time but none is forthcoming.

But you know what? It’s sooooo boring to talk about being busy and it’s even boring-er to talk about the weather but hey, speaking of the weather, hot enough for ya?? (I needed a segue) Cooking is for the birds in this kind of heat wave and summer in general is a season that more lends itself more to simple assembly rather than actually cooking. Fortunately, the food of the season cooperates. As I drove home for lunch yesterday afternoon I knew that I needed food and that I needed said food to be crisp, cool and crunchy. But also healthy, because it’s Tuesday and I should at least try to be healthy on Tuesdays, so that I can take down burgers and ice creams on Sundays. This is what’s called a balanced diet.

(inspired by this salad)

1 cucumber 
1 bunch radishes
1 or 2 ears fresh corn
Approx. ½ - ¾ cup mixed fresh herbs, I used: basil, chives and mint
½ cup Feta cheese
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
Juice from one lemon
Salt and pepper

Multigrain bread, large slices, or a baguette cut into ½ inch slices* 
1 or 2 peeled garlic cloves 

Store bought hummus (optional)

Peel, quarter lengthwise and slice your cucumber into thin slices. Wash the radishes thoroughly, trim the ends and thinly slice into tiny circles. Cook the corn however you choose and once cooled, cut the kernels from the cob. As always, I choose to char it over an open flame because it takes the least amount of time and tastes great.

Combine all of your veggies in a medium-sized bowl. Trim and chop the herbs and add to bowl as well. I used equal parts chives and basil and then a little bit of mint but really any fresh herbs would work well here and scallions would stand in perfectly for the chives if that happens to be what you have on hand. Likewise, any crisp, fresh raw vegetable would work here, I just happened to want cukes, radish and corn, but you could use fresh green beans, snap peas or carrots even.

Crumble feta on top and drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice and a sprinkle of salt. Grind in a good amount of fresh cracked pepper and toss together to combine. Taste and add a bit more seasoning or lemon juice if necessary.

Cut a multigrain baguette into slices, or use sliced bread that you have on hand. Toast until well browned and while it’s nice and hot rub a clove of garlic over. If you’d like to use the hummus, spread a thin layer on the toast after it’s been rubbed with garlic and spoon the salad on top. If not using, skip this step and spoon the vegetables right onto your garlic toasts. Serve immediately.

Truthfully, I could take or leave the hummus and I’m the type of person that will ALWAYS take the hummus. Seriously, hummus is like currency in our house and we mainline hummus like it’s some sort of serum of eternal youth. And truth be told we DO always get ID’d when we’re together even though we are both at least ten years over the legal age, so maybe there’s something to that. Hummus= eternal youth. The Dickens’ scoop: you heard it here first. ANYWAYS, I’m off track, so I thought maybe this salad would need a little jazzing up, hence, I added hummus to one of my toasts and left the other unhummused. Verdict: it’s seriously delicious either way. The hummus adds a little texture and tang, but without it, the taste of lemon juice and bright herbs really stand out, so it’s totally your call.

*This would make a phenomenal summer appetizer. If I were making it for a crowd I would make small bruschetta toasts. In this case for a lunch main course, I used larger slices of multigrain bread. 

Creative Commons License

1 comment:

  1. Your birthday reminded me to come here and catch up and I'm so glad you were born! I'm so inspired again. I have excess corn, cucumbers, basil, mint, chives, in my garden (ouch - rotator cuff) and now I know what to do with it. You like a fresh breath of rose. (the chilly wine - I don't know how to put the accent on the e).


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.