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
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.