While everyone else is traipsing into autumn with big grins and wool sweaters, I am clinging to the last scraps of summer with a cold, clammy grip. Sure, autumn food is delicious. I cannot wait to make gigantic pots of chili to eat over noodles Cincinnati-style while watching my favorite football teams go head to head every single Saturday and Sunday. I also look forward to being able to bust out the hot chocolate. But that said, I’ve got at least one more good month of summer left in this year and I am going to milk it for all its worth.
This week, I choose to hold onto summer with a delicious and beefy (but totally beef-free) salad. Salads, man. I know the Simpsons warned me against them, but I have enough friends (according to television, enough friends means between 3 and 6, so ha-ha!) so I can have salads for days and not face any non-bowelular consequences.
Salads are truly the domain of summer since that’s the time when vegetables really happen. Sure, you can pour gravy over cubed potatoes and call it a salad (mmm delicious) but if you want to eat even vaguely seasonally, then for the full flavor and texture spectrum, summer is when it’s at. This salad, however, could probably make an appearance throughout the year, and would probably taste pretty OK warm, too.
Alright so what do you need?
8 oz of your favorite fresh mushrooms (this thing would look a lot different with 8 oz of dried porcinis”¦and it’d be wildly expensive)
1 can of artichoke hearts in quarters, but if you make your own artichoke hearts, then 1) go on with your bad self and 2) use that
2 heirloom tomatoes, cut into bite size chunks
½ red onion, cut into small chunks
Dashes of balsamic vinegar and olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped fresh basil if you have it, but meh it’s cool if you don’t
What do you do?
Well, first you cook up your mushrooms. I like to chop them into halves or quarters and fry them because I just really like fried food, but you can boil them too. Once that’s done, you make a salad! Throw the veggies in a bowl, mix them up, and add your oils, vinegars and seasonings until you get the right taste for you. I personally like very little oil, but I always add a little. Let the flavors of the veggies speak, enhanced and not drowned by the sauce.
Enjoy. OR ELSE. No, sorry, I got carried away there. I am just kidding about the last bit.