Tastes of Summer

Tastes of Summer


by Heather Gerson

HeatherGersonbiopicAlthough school may be starting in August in the Grand Valley, the tastes of summer will last at least through September. Many people choose to eat local whenever possible.  Local farm fresh food tastes the best.  Many large grocery stores now have a local food section if you can’t make it to the farmer’s markets.  I buy local whenever possible.

This summer I have been eating peas, strawberries, corn, blueberries, carrots, lettuce and I am looking forward to the local peaches.  While in Maine, I was eating local Maine blueberries.  They are a tiny berry, and they have a very short season. They don’t travel well, so it’s unlikely you will see them in other parts of the country. While many people freeze local fruit and bake peach pies and freeze them for a snowy day, I enjoy eating summer fruits and vegetables fresh.    Everything tastes better fresh picked.  

There is nothing like the flavor of fresh summer fruits and vegetables.  During the summer months, everything just tastes better.  There are farmers markets all over the country, and it is fun to check out the local markets while traveling.  On vacation and while at home, I enjoy cooking and entertaining.  And part of what I enjoy is going to the local farm stands and buying freshly picked food.  berry display

Many people grow things in their own home gardens, and we have plenty of tomato varieties to choose from.  A few summers ago we had eggplants and cantaloupe in the backyard.  Archie, our springer spaniel, eats most of the raspberries off the bushes out back before we can get to them. Who can blame him, he likes the freshly picked food too!

One of my favorite summer recipes that my friend Liz shared with me last summer is corn and arugula salad.  When I asked her about the recipe the other day, she said, “use whatever you have and change it up depending on what you have in the fridge or what is available in the market.”  Here is the recipe that she made at my house last summer:

Corn and Arugula Summer Salad

4-6 ears of corn cooked and removed from cob (you can also use grilled corn)

Arugula, washed and dried (or any green of your choice, kale, fresh salad greens)

tomatoes, chopped or small ones cut in half

red onion chopped, or any local sweet onion

Cut the kernels off of the cob and place in a large bowl.  Toss in tomatoes, onions, and any other vegetables.  

  1. Prepare the dressing:  2-3 Tablespoons of olive or oil, 1 Tablespoon of balsamic vinegar (red wine vinegar works too) a drop of honey and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk dressing together.
  2. Add arugula to vegetable mixture and toss.  Gradually add the dressing and toss to mix.

Variations: Add red peppers, zucchini, or other vegetables and chop them. All of the measurements can be adjusted depending on how many people you are serving.  

This to me is the most delicious summer salad. If there are leftovers, which is unlikely,  it is delicious the next day too! Enjoy the tastes of summer!

corn salad

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