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Simply in season. August 8, 2009

Posted by ourfriendben in gardening, homesteading, recipes, wit and wisdom.
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Silence Dogood here. This week’s Frugal Living Tip focused on saving money while eating like a king by eating fruits and veggies when they’re in season, at the peak of perfection, and also locally abundant and cheap. I recommended a few of my favorite seasonal cookbooks, including one called Simply in Season.

Then yesterday, when our friend Ben, our puppy Shiloh and I were at our CSA (consumer-supported subscription organic farm) picking up the week’s produce, I saw that they’d set out recipe cards from Simply in Season, including one for “Stoplight Salad.” Since this salad takes advantage of veggies and herbs that are abundant now—tomatoes, corn, peppers, cilantro, parsley, basil, and garlic—I thought I’d share it with you all so you can enjoy it.

               Stoplight Salad

The name refers to the colors in this tasty salad. Try it using grilled rather than uncooked corn for a smoky flavor. Serve alongside grilled meats or as a light main dish. Serves 6-8.

2 cups chopped tomatoes

2 cups corn, cut off the cob

1 green and 1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, basil, or parsley, chopped

2 cups cooked black beans (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.

For the dressing:

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar or lime juice

1 clove garlic, minced

Whisk together in a separate bowl. Pour over salad. Salt and pepper to taste. Toss gently and serve.

Southwest variation: Omit the tomatoes and add to the dressing 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, 3/4 teaspoon chili powder and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper. [This is confusing to me. Why would you omit tomatoes from a Southwestern recipe?! I suspect they might have wanted to say “omit parsley and/or basil” instead of the tomatoes, but try it both ways and see. I think of cilantro as Southwestern and would keep it for this version along with the oregano. I’d also add at least 2/3 cup chopped sweet onion and possible chopped scallions (green onion) to either version.—Silence]

To find out more about this great cookbook, check it out at www.simplyinseason.org. As the card says, it’s “A cookbook full of recipes and reasons to eat fresh, local foods in season.” Bon appetit!

           ‘Til next time,