There are few greater delights than sun-ripened tomatoes from the garden. The sweet and bold notes in every bite are an exclamation point to summer. Our reward for a long, dreary winter, perhaps. Tomatoes always get the most attention as a fresh-from-the-garden favorite, but what about everything else? Everything tastes better from the garden. It tastes truer to what it's meant to be. Cucumber, corn, beans, beets, squash—all of it, when grown in your county's own soil tastes so much better. There's something spiritual about sharing the same land with the food that will sustain you. It's a silent conversation in which the lack of words is a powerful reminder of the delicacy and patience it takes to thrive.
Thrive we do, but beyond that, we indulge. As a species we tend to indulge in this natural process all so wrong. With food that's not what it was meant to be, with food that's made in seconds with no love put into it. As someone who grew up with fast food restaurants a norm on every street corner, I now wonder how those things ever came to thrive as they do. People indulge in fast food once, even twice a day, to later complain about how they don't feel good, how the doctor is running tests to see what pill they can subscribe. It saddens me, because I know what they're missing. I know where they got it all wrong.
Everyone should grow their own tomato and basil patch. Pick each out of the warm sun, combine and devour. There's nothing that can compare. Nothing more satisfying. Nothing more true to our human need to not only thrive, but to enjoy.
This Summer Harvest Salad is simple and delicious because of the ingredients it's made up of. The recipe is simple, with the flavors all coming from the fruits and vegetables themselves. This recipe wouldn't be the same with store-bought items, so I don't recommend it. If you're not growing your own then buy from your local farmers market.
Tomato, fresh sweet corn, cucumber, and garden basil are what make this summer salad so special. A bit of balsamic reduction pulls out the sweet tones slightly further and takes the joy of each bite just a little higher. This dish is best served cold, so plan a little extra time to chill before serving.
Summer Harvest Salad
MAKES 1 LARGE SERVING DISH • 15 MINUTES
- 1 cup rainbow Israeli couscous
- 2 medium sized cucumbers, diced with skin left on
- 4 ears of corn, kernels cut from cob
- 3 medium to large sized tomatoes, diced into chunk (I like to combine sizes and variety)
- 3-4 medium basil leaves, chopped roughly
- 2T Balsamic reduction (not to be confused with balsamic vinegar)
- 1T ground coriander
- Cook couscous according to package instructions
- Shuck and wash corn. Cut from cob. Over medium-high heat warm 1T olive oil in a non-stick pan. Cook corn until slightly blackened.
- Chop tomatoes, basil, and cucumber
- Combine all ingredients in large bowl. Mix thoroughly, cover and chill.
- Serve cold