Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Summer Salad Smackdown: Tsunami of Seasonal Goodness

August is many things in the Northwest: long, warm, sunny days; moderate temperatures (except for those few that creep above 90); and a veritable tidal wave of bounty from the garden and local farms. Cucumbers, berries, grapes, peaches, beans, basil, carrots—you name it, it's probably gushing from local farms.

Here at the house the green beans are climbing up the chain-link fence behind the raised beds and twining themselves around anything that gets too close, and two gallon-sized harvests haven't dented their production. The same can be said of the Sungold cherry tomatoes at the neighbors', so much so that they were desperately begging anyone who walked by to please please please pick some so they wouldn't go to waste.

Tomato salad this time of year is a must, so it only made sense to quickly steam some of the beans and throw them in with some of those tomatoes along with half a red onion and basil. A quick toss with olive oil and salt, and we were halfway to dinner.

You could throw in some big, crunchy croutons or lightly toasted rounds of rye to soak up the juices and you'd have dinner right there. Even better, add some feta or fresh mozzarella. I could go on an on…is it any wonder I love this time of year?

Tomato and Green Bean Salad

3 c. coarsely chopped tomatoes
3 c. green beans, snapped into 1" pieces
1/2 med. red onion, diced
1 c. basil leaves, thinly sliced
1/4 c. shiso leaves, thinly sliced (optional)
3 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt to taste

Put all ingredients into large salad bowl and toss gently to combine. So easy!

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