After a rainy, chilly June and July, August has been hot and steamy (and rainy again). It's really seemed like a short summer for me. I live near from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and this weekend seemed to be the weekend that all of the new students were being dropped off by their parents and were attending orientation. That means that summer is nearly over. For me, starting college was such a great time in life - starting a whole new chapter in a totally new place. And even though I haven't been in school for longer than I will reveal, I still get an unsettled and yearning feeling each fall - like I need to be starting something new. But at the same time, I'm really sad that summer is over.
I love summer, I really do. Even though it gets really hot in my apartment and it is uncomfortable to bake or cook or do laundry, there are tons of fresh fruit and vegetables available from the farmers market for making simple salads and simple fruit based desserts (I will get either my rooftop garden going or will find that perfect country house at some time in the future - it's just not happening yet). We go on trips to the country. I don't have to wear sweaters and jackets and gloves. Everything is lush and green. So before fall really kicks in, and before I go away for my camping trip where I'll be eating lots of meat and nary a green thing, I'm going to celebrate summer by making and eating a lot of salads.
I like odd food. I don't mean food that is
in itself odd, but taking different normal foods and pairing them in
ways that you had never thought of before. It's so revelatory.
Watermelon feta salad was the salad revelation for me two years ago.
This year it's been this salad - the carrot and blueberry salad. Two
very simple and tasty ingredients, tied together with some lemon and
roasted sunflower seeds. I think nuts (or seeds) go well in almost any
salad, and this salad is testament to that. It's from the NY Times
101 Simple Salads article by Mark Bittman that I've
mentioned before. Last week I got as far as number 1. This week it's
Carrot Blueberry Salad (from the NY Times)
1 Cup blueberries
1/2 T olive oil
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
Juice of half a lemon
In a shallow pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add he sunflower seeds. Stir constantly for 3-5 minutes until most of the seeds are brown and toasty. Watch them very carefully since they burn easily and remove them from the pan immediately when they are done. Set aside to cool. Either grate or matchstick the carrots and mix with the blueberries. Add the cooled seeds, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly and enjoy immediately.