Last Salad of Summer

Though the days remain muggy and blistering, the nights are cooling off and the sun is setting earlier – we are in the twilight of summer. Soon the city will be a crisp swirl of colored leaves and we’ll be making up for the lack of warmth with fires and hot drinks – but until then, I’ll be making this salad multiple times a week, a salad I call the last salad of summer.

Summer Salad

I’ve written before about my obsession with local, in-season tomatoes, and you can bet that I’ll be buying them from the farmer’s markets up until the very end of their all-too-short season. This salad recipe is simple – when you have flavors this good, there’s not much need for anything flashy.

This salad is raw, vegetarian, and vegan if you don’t include the cheese. Give it some variety by throwing in other vegetables you have on hand – half of a shredded carrot, small cubes of summer squash varieties, and bit of cubed onion, for example, would all be great additions.

The Last Salad of Summer Recipe:

(serves 2-3)

1 pint sungold tomatoes (or any other small tomato), halved

1 ear corn

1/3 of a cucumber, sliced into rings and then cut into quartners

goat cheese to taste (optional)

1/4 teaspoon cilantro (or, if you don’t like cilantro, use parsley)

1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

1 handful leafy green of choice (I prefer spring greens, but you can use anything, even kale if that’s what you’re into)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (optional – add if you love a salad with more acid)

Directions:

Halve your tomatoes, or quarter them if they’re on the larger size. Stand the ear of corn up on its large end on your cutting board, and use a knife to cut off the kernels, going from top to bottom. Slice the cucumbers into coins and then cut into quarters. Cut your leafy green of choice into bit-size pieces. Use your hand to mix it together and add in the olive oil – start small, it’s barely necessary and can easily be overpowering. Add balsamic vinegar and goat cheese if you’re using them, and then the salt and herb of choice.

Perfect with a crisp white wine on the porch or balcony during a hot summer night that will soon be the stuff of daydreams.

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