Monday, August 31, 2009

Last Hoorah Summer Salad

I don’t want summer to end. I like wearing white and cute flowery skirts, I like the reduced traffic on my morning and evening commutes, and I like the general sense that even though I cannot afford to go on one, I could take a vacation to some exotic locale if I were so inclined.

The thing I enjoy most about summer, however, does not in any way relate to the trips I’m not taking or the adorable Sechelles sandals I get to wear on a daily basis. While I quite enjoy strolling about town in my pastel-colored threads, the thing that gets me most revved up in the summertime is the food – specifically the seasonal fruits and vegetables like corn on the cob, cherries, yellow nectarines, and heirloom tomatoes.

With Labor Day just a week away, it won’t be long before the seasonal produce goes foul and/or acquires an $8/lb price tag, and yesterday, I decided to make a last hoorah salad with two of my favorite summer items – sweet corn and nectarines. (The salad may or may not have also been inspired by a desperate need to cleanse myself after eating way too much sausage, pork, tri-trip, apple tart, and caramel brownies at my dad’s rotary BBQ.)

The best thing about this salad is its simplicity. I kept everything really clean in order to allow the natural sweetness of the corn and nectarine to really shine. The contrast against the peppery arugula and creamy bite of goat cheese was really compelling, and it all went together nicely with the grilled chicken breast that I marinated with an apricot vinaigrette. It was the perfect way to balance out my indulgences from the previous day, and even more importantly, the perfect way to say goodbye to my favorite season of the year.

Diana’s Last Hoorah Summer Salad
Serves 1

4-5 ounce chicken breast
1 ear of yellow corn, boiled and shucked
1 yellow nectarine, chopped
1 tablespoon goat cheese, crumbled
1 ½ cups arugula
Squirt of lemon

Combine apricot jam, white wine vinegar, squirt of lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Reserve one spoonful for dressing.

Marinate chicken for 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook and husk corn and prepare other ingredients.

Grill chicken on bbq or grill pan and then assemble salad. Toss corn, nectarine, arugula together with a small spoonful of dressing and an extra squirt of lemon juice. Plate, then top with grilled chicken and goat cheese.


Gastronomer said...

We live in So Cal, D. Summer's gonna last through October. Woo hoo!

Jenn said...

I wouldn't quite call it a last hurrah. LA is known for having summer weather year round. LOL. But I would eat a salad like that any time of year.

ps. It was great to finally meet you last night, too. More meet-ups should definitely be planned.

The Duo Dishes said...

Summmmmmmer! It's not allowed to leave yet. If we lived on the East coast, we'd be excited for fall, but there's no transition here, so oh well. Summer foods will be missed, but warm, comfy winter foods are welcome too.

Esi said...

I think I am the exact opposite. Sooo ready for summer to be over, but like Gastronomer said, summer here lasts through at least you will probably have a least a few more weeks to eat this salad.

Diana said...

Cathy - Haha, very very true.

Jenn - So fun - we really do need to get together again soon!

Chrystal & Amir - I am definitely excited for squash and crunchy honeycrisp apples - yum!

Esi - Hah, yes, LA summers without a/c are no fun!

Elra said...

Sounds delicious Diana. Love that goat cheese combine with nectarine in your salad.

Pearl said...

Diana - i got your e-mail while i was in LA, but i was so exhausted that i didn't even reply to it in time! i'm sorry for that! thanks so much for e-mailing me in time.
have you ever been to toast for breakfast? it's adorable.
i went to "the little next door" for brunch one weekend when i was there; i had the spanish frittata (i think) and my boyfriend had the fig, argula and brie sandwich. he LOVED the sandwich. it was really good and it's so quaint and cute!
we ended up having dinner at SimonLA, which was pretty good also. some dishes were just okay, but the chef made a special vegetarian pasta dish that was pretty good (i think it had cavatelli pasta and mushrooms and tomatoes with olive oil).
maybe next time i'm in LA, we can meet up! where do you live in LA?

NoYutsNoButs said...

I also love peaches and tomahtoes. this salad is right up my alley.

Melissa Good Taste said...

Healthy and delicious too! Yum!

Kirby! said...

I'm going to make this!!! I love the ingredients. But I wouldn't worry too much about the end of summer... I distinctly remember wearing a tank top in December last year. Wacky California!!

Cinnamon Girl aka Reeni♥ said...

This sounds delicious! It's so simple but full of flavor and texture. Sweet, tart, savory it has it all.

Diana said...

Elra - The goat cheese added so much flavor! I was really happy with how well it went with the nectarines and corn.

Pearl - Definitely let me know when you are in LA next. I actually live really close to Simon LA and Little Next Door!

NoYutsNoButs - It's surprisingly a really great combo - you should try it!

Kirby - Yeah California is nuts! I just hate spending a gazillion dollars for out of season produce so always try to buy in season if possible. Though I do tend to get mad cravings for blueberries in winter...

Reeni - Coming from you, that's a big compliment! :)