I often come home from a farmers’ market, arms loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables, without any real concrete plan on what I will be preparing throughout the week.
Surely, some of the fresh fruit will be consumed as it comes, enjoyed right out of the fruit bowl or crisper, and the lettuce inevitably making its way into a salad. As for the bulk of the seasonal goods — whether it’s the fresh basil, obscure cucumber and melon varieties, fresh summer corn, grapes, peppers and tomatoes — much of those have yet to be determined.
I find that when purchasing fresh fruits and veggies within their seasonal windows, there is a very high probability you will find many of their flavor and texture profiles to be quite complimentary of one another. As we start to merge the summer and fall bounties, the selections have reached peak diversity.
This week I decided to incorporate all three of my weekly Picks of the Week, along with some other seasonal ingredients into a single dish. This can be served as a side salad or main course, and enjoyed really any meal of the day. If you don’t have these specific varieties of fruits or vegetables, you can easily substitute comparable options.
2 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar (could also use rice vinegar)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
1 Camino Apple, core discarded and sliced
1/2 of a galia melon
2 salt and pepper cucumbers, peeled and sliced
1 ear corn, cooked (grilled preferred), kernels removed from cob and cob discarded
1 small jalapeño pepper (optional) sliced into very thin rounds into
1/2 cup fresh herbs (I combined basil, mint and cilantro, can use any one of combination of all 3)
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese or chèvre
In a mixing bowl, whisk together balsamic, olive oil and Dijon. Then mix in red onion and let sit at room temperature while you prepare to eat the ingredients. In a salad bowl or deep serving platter, gently toss together apple, melon, cucumber, corn and jalapeño. Then gently work in the fresh herbs. Top with onion mixture and gently toss, then finish by topping with feta cheese.
Yield: Makes 4 side or 2 large salads.