Monday, September 20, 2010

From the Kitchen: Ray's Salad

Please allow me to wax poetic for a minute about the disappeared days of summer... a fine evening spent with friends sometime in June. Our collective children explored, trampolined, and played in the pool. The adults watched the happy melee from the back porch and talked. Our friends had a great garden this year, with lots of salad greens, sun-ripening tomatoes and cold frames to prolong their harvest. These friends love food... they have a passion for delicious, healthy edibles. Organic, free-range, local (or, better yet, home-grown). They know what to buy and they know how to prepare it.

Our meal with them was one of my most fond memories from this summer... pure enjoyment in all aspects food-related and otherwise. A particular highlight of the meal was a salad they "threw together" from their garden. Fresh mixed greens and sweet tomatoes. Dressed with an impossibly good mixture of olive oil and white balsamic vinegar, and topped with crumbled feta. It was so fresh and aromatic, I had to have more even after dessert. I don't think I'll ever be able to replicate this delight (I've tried!)... it was more than the sum of its parts. If curing bacon can incorporate notes of the woods used to smoke it, this salad incorporated the goodness of the people who made it and the atmosphere of happiness that surrounded it.

Mmmmm... this is what food should be...

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