Summer eating is different than how we eat the rest of the year. For one, we eat out of doors more often, feeling the fresh air and smelling the sun. Secondly, we eat more fresh food, freshly picked from local farms. So we delight in simple ingredients: the flavor of a tomato, the loveliness of butter lettuce, how good basil is.
Salads say summer. And sometimes the salads are not elaborate: just tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, cucumbers, whatever’s growing in the garden or looks good at the farmer’s market.
It’s herbs and/or the right dressing that highlight those simple ingredients and elevate them to another level.
Herbs and edible flowers make summer special. They’re easy and accessible; yet they’re so delicious and exciting. No matter how often we eat fresh herbs we always enjoy and relish them. We talk about them.
This vinaigrette honors that. Sage is abundant right now. It’s an herb we’re harvesting and enjoying often. A few other strong herbs can be subbed in for the sage, if you prefer, or if you’d like to enjoy variety, with this recipe as a base. Rosemary is great. Oregano works well.
(If you have a lot of sage on hand, this recipe for Fried Sage is wonderful. Fried Sage is easy and so pretty. The fried leaves are great for snacking and discussing; or they make an exciting garnish for any dish.)
We enjoy adding more delicate herbs (or edible flowers) to salads too; basil, tarragon, dill, cilantro and parsley are all lovely herbs to toss in with lettuce or with which to decorate a composed salad.
This vinaigrette keeps well in the fridge. So make it for guests and enjoy the leftovers. Or make it for you and enjoy just having it on hand.
May you enjoy many beautiful outdoor meals this season, and lovely salads…