well, another glorious summer has come to an end. i know the season doesn't officially end until later in september, but it just kinda of feels over, right? little kiddies are going back to school, balmy afternoons are replaced with rainy ones, there is a tiny edge in the air. i even wore a hoodie today! better to embrace change than long for a stasis which can never be, but it's still hard to say goodbye to my favorite three months of the year.
i spent more of june, july and august working than lounging by the pool or the ocean, but i'm kind of okay with that. i spent a lot of my early 20's not working a whole lot, so it feels pretty satisfying (albeit, an exhausted kind of satisfaction) to be hustling while i still have the energy and time. one very small regret of my summer is not spending quite as much time in the kitchen as i would have liked. i do think we made the best of our CSA and farmer's market hauls, as dozens of ears of corn, countless salads, and a bushel of tender tomatoes crossed our cutting board and graced our plates.
one of my favorite salads of the summer was an unexpected combination of raw fennel slices, paper thin radish half moons, a sprinkling of blueberries, and a touch of firm goat cheese. something about the interplay of all the colors and textures came alive together. the fennel and blueberries have a casual vibe, like denim cut offs and a worn out v-neck. but then outta nowhere the sleek radishes are like a swipe of matte red lipstick to give the shorts and tee a glamorous pop. the goat cheese is the sexy lingerie no one knows is under that unassuming, bleached out cotton shirt.
plus, it's based on this recipe from food&wine, created by one of my all time most beloved top chef contestants, stephanie izard. i took some liberties with the ingredients of the original salad, but i made the lovely dressing obediently, and smiled a little more with each bite. at first, i straight up balked at the addition of mayo to the dressing, but its binding powers make the whole thing a dreamy, gingery delight. this smooth operator will certainly elevate any salad or vegetable to a sunny, happy place.
Creamy Ginger Dressing from the recipe linked above
~takes about 5 minutes
2 tablespoons minced, peeled fresh ginger root
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 tablespoon white balsamic or champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon mayo or veganaise
1 and 1/2 teaspoon dijon or spicy brown mustard
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon maple syrup or agave nectar
1/4 cup grapeseed oil or XVO (maybe a little less if you want to keep it on the lighter side)
- no nonsense: combine all ingredients in a mini food processor. whir on high until well blended. season with salt and pepper. done, kind of like the summer of 2011.