I felt it just last night: autumn getting ready to make an entrance.
Maybe where you are it’s still blazing hot, but I live in Chicago where weather does just what she wants to, when she wants to. She’s kind of spinster-y that way and I can admire that except when she makes my evening of wine, cheese, lovely girlfriends, and the 40th anniversary of Mahogany a chilly affair.
Since the Autumnal Gauntlet has been brandished, I need to get in the last of my summer meals.
I might grill a turkey burger or make some Moscow Mules before September 23rd, the autumnal equinox hits, but for sure I’m making these three dishes before summer exits:
I love the tangy sweetness of Pinkberry. So, if you’re telling me that some Trader Joe’s yogurt, a spoon, and my freezer can turn my kitchen into a far less lucrative Pinkberry, I’m there.
A fruit, crust, butter, and sugar dessert
It could be cobbler or a grunt or a galette, but I think I’ll put the black and red plums I have to work and see what happens.
A bountiful summer salad
In my younger days, nothing sounded worse than a salad and partly that was because my palate hadn’t yet discovered the healthier things in life, but also because my vision of it was lettuce and tomato with a glop of dressing.
I’m not talking about that salad.
I’m talking about something that might include the ingredients pictured above: spinach, shrimp, yellow cucumber, red pepper, and some toasted and crumbled pita. That’ll just get me started and then I’ll check off from my salad list:
- A green thing (lettuce, romaine is my favorite, but I know folks who want green or red leaf or butter, spinach, kale)
- A bitter and/or fermented, funky thing (arugula, radish leaves or radishes, radicchio, endive, kimchi)
- A sweet thing (this could be dried cranberries or red pepper but don’t underestimate a root vegetable like carrot or beets to bring some earthy sweetness)
- A crunchy thing (nuts, homemade croutons, pretzels, crumbled crackers, but also blanched string beans could sub in here too, think of a Salade Nicoise)
- A protein thing (shrimp, chicken, salmon, falafel, or canned sardines)
- A sauce-y thing (sometimes your canned protein can provide a good sauce or there’s the simple oil and acid route, olive oil and lemon juice, grapeseed oil and lime juice either of those oils and red wine/white wine/rice wine vinegar, soy sauce/rice wine vinegar, tahini/olive oil, pesto/olive oil, chimichurri)
And if I get those dishes in, although I won’t be happy to see summer leave, at least I can sun in the memory of their deliciousness.