The beauty that exists in Summer- flowering wildlife, radically blue skies, and reviving winds- is heightened by nature’s yield of nourishing produce that begs to be transformed.
On these days that have started to become rather monotonous, I’ve turned to cooking, writing, travel opportunities and friendship to fill my days and encourage myself to be creative.
This week we received our first delivery of our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share. I am slightly embarrassed to say I was extremely excited at the thought of receiving copious amounts of fruits and vegetables to create dishes to share.
I arrived at the drop off site and rooted through the boxes before I was instructed by an employee to wait-he had something for me to sign.
What can I say-I’m a bit overzealous when it comes to food.
After I followed proper procedure I eyed the largest box…mine. “This is all mine?” Apparently so. Nice call on the large share.
I arrived home to uncover such a beautiful variety of my favorites and a newbie, too.
I organized all of the vegetables into items to be refrigerated to preserve freshness and those that fared well on the counter top. It was lunch time and I couldn’t help but plunge my knife into the largest heirloom tomato that was exceptionally ripe and indulge in a Caprese salad.
Later in the evening, I set out to use the one ingredient that I had never experimented with…Purslane. A quick search resulted in the quick answer: a weed. Right on.
I mixed up a simple vinaigrette and poured it over a wonderful harmony of herbs, cucumbers and tomatoes. I used a wheat baguette to erase all remaining evidence of the vinaigrette and sipped a white wine to complete the taste.
Middle Eastern Herb Salad (inspired by this recipe)
For the salad:
2 c roughly chopped romaine lettuce
1 c roughly chopped purslane
1 c chopped flat leaf parsley
1 large tomato, diced
1/2 large cucumber, diced
For the dressing:
2 tsp sumac soaked in 2 tsp water for 10 minutes
1 tsp pekmez (a sort of grape molasses from Turkey- feel free to sub a sweetener of your choice or omit).
1/4+ c. olive oil
2 T balsamic vinegar
Whisk all ingredients together, adding more oil as needed. Pour over the salad and toss.