I have to take a minute to blather on once again about the simple but surreal satisfaction that comes from walking a few steps out the door and selecting items for dinner. It is so basic and yet so powerful, this growing of food to eat and share.
After an afternoon of leveling her majesty - I'm leaning towards "Rita", reminiscent of an elegant and big-boned beauty from the 40s and 50s like our big and bold lady here - I ventured into the caged jungle (AKA the garden). In a few minutes, I had a basket full of 3 varieties of tomatoes (if you're looking for garden candy, you cannot get better than the tiny sungolds - bright orange bursts of pure ecstasy you absolutely have to pop into your mouth while clomping around in your work boots) and 2 crisp cucumbers.
On my way back into the house, I twisted off 3 branches of oregano from my happy potted plant. A few chops with the knife, some crumbles of the feta lovingly wrapped for me at Big John's PFI, a dash of the very best olive oil on the planet, purveyed by a neighbor with ties to a little farm in Italy, matched by a dash of red wine vinegar, and we've got salad to take to some friends' house.
Fun to hook it up with bread I made earlier today and hummus Mark concocted yesterday. A bottle of the Syrah we pressed 3 years ago, and it's starting to feel like we might actually be closing in on this feeding ourselves and our friends gig. No trips to the supermarket required.
High summer salad - grow most of it yourself or purchase the ingredients from your local farmer
1 lb perfectly ripe tomatoes of varying sizes and types, cut into bite-sized pieces
2-4 cucumbers, depending upon size (about 1 lb)
1-2 TBS fresh oregano, chopped
1-2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 C crumbled feta cheese
Combine the first 3 ingredients in a glass bowl and mix gently so as not to bruise the tomatoes. Sprinkle the oregano over the mixture, then pour on the olive oil and then vinegar. Crumble the feta on top and mix everything gently once more. Serve immediately or chill for up to 30 minutes.
Enjoy with something crisp, like a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc or a light red, such as a Pinot Noir or Syrah.