In an effort to relish these last days of August, we chopped up all of summer and put it in a bowl.
The newly added bell peppers to the Farmers' Market last weekend looked too good to pass up. Hearty and colorful, we filled our bags with a couple of these as well as ears of corn, bulbs of spring red onions, a variety of tomatoes and bunches of fresh herbs in order to mix together a salsa that is drink-the-remaining-juices-out-of-the-bowl-good. We nixed salsa's usual suspect, cilantro, for basil and mint. The latter offers a cooling contrast to the sweetness provided by the vegetables. We used opal basil, but you can use whatever kind you prefer. The recipe is easy to whip up and best of all, requires no turning on the oven in the summer heat. We scooped it up with tortilla chips and suggest the leftovers on chicken, fish, with eggs or by the spoonful.
Another way we're making sure to get our daily serving of summer produce, specifically tomatoes, is with this roasted tomato tartine from The Kitchn; we ate our own version just about every morning for two weeks before deciding to take a break. We mainly used the same gluten free bread as in our plane picnic to Bogotá but switched it up one weekend with a fresh sourdough from Bien Cuit. Although the sourdough is clearly the better bread overall, the gluten free bread is much easier to cut while eating the tartine. Whichever one we used, we always toasted it in a generous amount of butter before assembling the dish. We used Roma tomatoes the first day, which, as the original recipe points out, roast nicely, and then used heirloom, always with a few sungold or cherry tossed in. A few days we mixed chives, meant for garnishing, right in with the ricotta before spreading. Topped with a soft-boiled egg, flaky sea salt, a few cracks of black pepper and a generous drizzle of olive oil, this meal is really a thing of beauty and totally worth turning the oven on in summer.
RECIPE: Colorful Summer Salsa
Makes about 3 cups
- 1 bell pepper (we used 1/2 yellow and 1/2 red for color variety)
- 1 tomato
- 1 red spring onion
- 1 ear of corn, shucked
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 4 sprigs mint, leaves removed, plus a few extra leaves for garnish
- 4 sprigs basil, leaves removed, plus a few extra leaves for garnish
- 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt plus more to taste
- freshly cracked black pepper
- Bring a wide saucepan of water to a boil and add the ear of corn for 1 minute. Remove the corn, run it under cool water and slice the kernels off the cob.* Transfer to a medium size bowl.
- While waiting for the water to boil, dice your pepper, tomato and onion and put them all (including tomato juices) in the bowl with the corn. Stir in a pinch of salt to get the vegetable juices flowing.
- Add the lemon juice, salt and about 5 cracks of pepper. Roughly chop your herbs to get 1/4 cup combined and add to the mix.
- Taste and add salt, pepper and lemon juice as needed.
- Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container. Will keep for a couple of days.
*I find the best way to control the kernels while slicing them off the cob is to do so on a jelly roll pan. The sides of the pan keep those suckers in line.