It’s starting to get hot, hot, hot.
Which means: tomatoes! (Well, other things, too, I’m sure… But mostly, TOMATOES.)
Yet while my tastebuds are languishing in a quivering state of salsa/ sauce/ caprese anticipation, there are a few stars in my spring garden that deserve some first-day-of-summer love.
I just didn’t realize how much love, until this salad happened. It’s light, fresh, crisp and utterly unexpected.
I thought I might make a cole slaw with one of these beautiful cabbages, but… I’m not a huge fan of mayonnaise-laden salads… So a light slaw, then. But in the spirit of using what’s available, I used red kale instead of the traditional red cabbage side-kick. From there, my garden scissors got carried away, and the recipe swelled to include sorrel, lemon basil and parsley. (You will recall my ode to sorrel- the citrusy perennial green. All the praise was deserved! And lemon basil. OH. MY. GOODNESS. Run, don’t walk down to Antioch Urban and pick up some of this. It is magical.)
The carrots in my garden aren’t ready for harvest, so for sweetness, I threw in chopped apples, which seemed to fit in better with the evolving slaw anyway. The dressing is simple: Lemon juice and zest, oil, honey, salt and pepper. For crunch, I finished with roasted pumpkin seeds, just before serving.
You can leave the pumpkin seeds out if you’re making it ahead so they don’t get soggy. Because, yes, you will want leftovers… in the nature of all good slaws, this might even be better the next day! Enjoy.
SUMMER SOLSTICE SALAD
Note: Chop all greens chiffonade-style: roll up the leaves and slice thinly into ribbons.
Toss all ingredients in a huge bowl and mix thoroughly:
-1 small head of cabbage (or 1/2 large head), roughly shredded
– 5-7 stalks of red kale, depending on size, stalks removed, leaves chiffonaded
-4 large sorrel leaves, chiffonaded
-Large handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
-1/3 to 1/2 cup, loosely packed lemon basil, chiffonaded (you can substitute sweet basil, if you can’t find lemon basil)
– 2 apples (I used Gala), cored and diced small (No need to peel)
-Juice of 1 lemon (approx 3 Tbsp., more or less)
-Zest of 1/2 lemon
-3 Tbsp. light oil (such as canola or sunflower), more or less
-1 Tbsp. honey
-1 tsp salt, or to taste
-pepper, to taste
-Add roasted, salted pumpkin seeds (Or other nuts/seeds) before serving, to taste. (I used about 1/3 cup.)
For us, the yield was about 12 servings.
What glorious summer foods are starting to show up on your table these days?