Those of you who live around Ann Arbor may have noticed something surprising the past week or so. Finally, in its last official month, summer seems to have arrived. Summer of porch-sitting without sweaters, of kids in sprinklers, of downtown strolls for ice cream, of tossing back the covers at night, of sometimes even seeking out shade, that kind of summer. It’s not dog days yet, not air-conditioning or swimming after work summer, but still . . . it’s a lot more summer than we’ve had this year. And I’ve been so ready for it.
Among the pleasures of summer, have been winetasting on the “patio” (um, sidewalk) at Vinology . . .
Accompanied by lovely little tastes, like handmade pasta with clams and breadcrumbs and just a touch of anchovy . . .
And making mint ice cream with the out of control chocolate peppermint from the front garden and lots of lemonade from scratch (a favorite occupation and beverage for the almost four year old boy) and never, ever being without peaches in the house.
But mostly, of course, more and more time consumed by consuming the contents of the CSA box, working our way with patience and fortitude through all that Tantre Farm throws at us (duck! more beets! incoming!). With gratitude too, of course. A lot of gratitude.
When the crisper drawer becomes difficult to shut, the Big Salad often comes to the rescue. This one was particularly pleasing to both the eye and our collective palates, first because it was broken down into its constituent parts and not mixed (allowing picking and choosing of ingredients by those who must pick and choose ) and because of this zippy vinaigrette from Bobby Flay’s Grilling for Life. We made it first to serve on grilled lamb chops, but the drizzle required by that dish left plenty for salad a couple of days later. The oregano gives it a nice punch that paired well with the strong summer flavors in the salad.
We made up this salad, sat on the back deck in our t-shirts and shorts, all four of us shoeless and slightly sunburned and slowly picked the platters clean and watched the fireflies come out. Summer indeed.
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp. fresh oregano leaves, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup olive oil
Combine vinegar, oregano, garlic, honey, salt, and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in oil and blend until emulsified.