Dear Summer Solstice,
Thank you for your arrival yesterday. While I’ve been pacing and anticipating your sunshine and pool time, I forgot the negative affects of heat and humidity in New England. As my friend and co-worker said it, “it feels like I am walking through soup.” How am I supposed to want to do anything in this heat? What am I supposed to make for dinner that actually sounds palatable when you are melting us away?
Thank you, welcome, now go away,
Toughen up. People live their whole lives here and never complain. You recently went on a fabulous trip to Chicago, which is usually blasted with heat and humidity in the summer. Remember that wonderful Summer Salad you had at Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba? The one with the beautiful yellow beets, fresh asparagus, and delightful lemon-chive vinaigrette? Recreate it.
- 3 yellow beets
- 1 bunch (roughly ¾ lb) thin stemmed asparagus
- 1 Belgian endive, sliced into ½ inch pieces
- 1 English cucumber, ends removed, halved, and sliced into ½ inch pieces
- 6 cups (roughly) baby lettuce greens
- 2 lemons, juiced
- 1 lemon, zest
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup chives, minced
- salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Scrub the beets with a food brush to get rid of as much dirt as you can. Pat them dry and wrap in aluminum foil. Bake for one hour or until tender with a fork.
- Remove from the oven and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. When you are able to handle them, use a pairing knife to remove the skin. Chop them into small, bite-sized pieces.
- Trim the ends from the asparagus. Saute in a medium pan for 3-4 minutes, or until they are starting to cook through. You want them to remain crunchy.
- To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the lemon zest, juice, and minced chives. Whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Assemble the salad by placing the mixed greens in a serving bowl. Add the remaining vegetables and toss with the dressing. Serve immediately.