Sunday, August 20, 2006

Rainbow Salad

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As the nights begin to cool and we turn the first corner into the fall season, it is best to take advantage of the freshness still available. Late season produce are some of my favorites; full of the warm juices of summer. They include certain berries, corn, peaches, beets and nectarines (amongst others). Keep to the seasons and you are guaranteed some of the best tasting produce.

When I started going hog wild for the peaches at my local fruit stand, D and I were overwhelmed (but they smell so good!)—there are only so many that can be sliced and frozen for mid-winter smoothie binges! Pretty soon, every time I made a dish, I just tossed a few peaches onto the mix. D thought me crazed at first, tainting his otherwise prized pork and sandwiches, but pretty soon, the boy caught on.

One morning as we were rushing out the door I pulled out anything and everything fresh from the fridge. It ended with a very colorful salad that appeared to taste as good as it looked. A few hours later I received emails from D that his officemates wouldn’t allow him to get a bite in—they were all admiring the colors! While we ate separately, we came together later commenting on the perfect harmony that the salad offered. No longer questioning my peach plundering, D and I made this salad again and again—a fast and fresh summer pick-me-up that can be altered in many ways, remaining a delicious feast for belly and eyes.

The colors on this salad are stunning--- an ideal side for a summer picnic or BBQ. So go ahead and stock up on peaches. Put a few aside for the winter, and indulge in this salad while peaches are at their best.

Serving Size= 2 persons. Active time= 10 minutes.
* 2 ripe peaches, each sliced into 8 wedges
* 4 radish, sliced
* 1 avocado, cubed
* 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced thin
* 1 small cucumber, cubed
* 1 small handful green beans, blanched and halved
* 1 cup lightly packed fresh basil
* ¼ cup Tarragon vinegar
* juice of 1 lime
* salt/ pepper to taste

1) In a medium bowl, gently toss cut fruit and vegetables: peach, radish, avocado, bell pepper and beans.
2) In a food processor or blender, combine basil, vinegar and lime juice. Blend until basil is finely chopped and well incorporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper and pour over salad.
NOTE: Other tasty additions to this salad include celery, mango (in lieu of peach), corn, new potatoes, or anything else you enjoy.

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