I love summer meals. Cool, refreshing, and nonchalant; celebrating the spontaneous combination of any variety of flavors without a clash because everything is fresh, fresh, fresh. Tonight in Vermont, I threw together a meal every ingredient of which was local, (with the allowable exceptions of a lemon, an orange, Kalamata olives, some Spanish olive oil, salt and pepper, and a pinch each of cumin and coriander–Mediterranean items that don’t grow in these here parts).
> a cold bean salad with two varieties of heirloom beans grown by Killdeer Farm, here in Norwich, fennel, orange segments, radicchio, olive oil, and herbs from my mom’s herb garden.
> panzanella: tomatoes, a stale baguette, fresh mozzarella, garlic, chives, olives, backyard basil.
> cold grilled chicken.
> corn on the cob, picked this morning and as sweet as dessert.
> grilled heirloom eggplant, summer squash, and zucchini from the neighbors’ garden.
> a Lebanese-style yogurt sauce for the grilled veggies and chicken.
> (and for Jack, the above, plus Vermont cheddar, a glass of Strafford Creamery milk, and local carrots and sugar snap peas.)
The best supporting actor award in this meal goes to the yogurt sauce, which I hadn’t made before, but which will now be my default leftover-chicken-jazzer-up.
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 tsp. lemon zest
juice of 1/4 lemon
pinches of salt, ground coriander and ground cumin (best if you use seeds ground with a mortar and pestle)
4 mint leaves, minced
small bunch chives, minced
1 tbs. parsley, minced
Stir it all up and adjust the seasonings to taste.