I haven’t been writing much this August. I’ve been stuffing my face with stone fruits (nectarines, peaches, apricots, cherries, plums) and finding innumerable ways to get them into salads. So when I haven’t been chasing monarchs and tracking constellations, I’ve been eating various incarnations of the salad below. Practically every day for lunch. I can’t stop. It’s sweet, salty, spicy - my favourite trio but perhaps not for everyone - and it has a nostalgia to it which suits the end of summer perfectly. Plus it’s practically all Ontario bounty.
Sliced strawberries and nectarines
Thin coins of radishes and carrots
Diced red pepper
Cooked and cooled garbanzo beans (canned chickpeas are fine)
Chopped up dried cherries
Ribboned black kale
A salad this vivacious needs something simple to dress it: I used a roasted sunflower seed oil (it’s pretty subtle but also a bit nutty) and a drizzle of white balsamic vinegar (sweetish but not cloying) then I tossed in a few pinches of coarse sea salt and red chili flakes.
The version below began with sliced peaches and tart yellow pear tomatoes. I blended them into some massaged chopped black kale and added radicchio and roasted sunflower seeds and feta.
It’s just good stuff, all of this late August harvest, and I’m already eyeing the small sour first of the season apples and thinking how good they’re going to be in salads with figs or chopped dates and baby kale and grilled halloum cheese.
Into September we go.