But somehow the garden is still going strong. It's been difficult to keep up with the string beans; after a bushel is picked, it seems there are four more bushels-worth to take its place. The early morning hours before the oven door opens in the sky are busy but peaceful - an oasis from the relentless heat. The tomatoes are slowly ripening and the melons and squash plants have really exploded this year. Every blossom has a swarm of my honeybees around it. Harmony in action.
This post is an abbreviated one, but I felt the need to write a bit. Tomorrow is this humble blog's 2nd birthday and I can hardly believe it. They have been the most fulfilling two years of my life. I know this is supposed to be the blog of baked goods and all, but I wanted to share this salad with you: a not-quite Nicoise-style salad. I am so looking forward to eating it everyday for lunch this week, especially on market days, sitting in the back of our dusty box truck. Making a salad like this for myself ahead of time is both an exercise in self-love and a way to eat everything that is ripe in our fields. I encourage you to do the same.
And if you see any rain, please send it our way.
Not-Quite Nicoise Salad
Makes 4 large or 8 small servings
For the Salad
1 pound small, red new potatoes, halved or quartered
4 large eggs
1/2 pound green beans, ends trimmed and cut in half or thirds
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
Freshly chopped parsley (optional)
For the Vinaigrette
1 garlic clove
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Fill a large bowl half way with ice water and set aside.
Place the potatoes into a medium stockpot and fill it with cold water. Next, add the eggs directly to the pot on top of the potatoes. Make sure the water is at least 1" above the potatoes and eggs. Bring the water to a boil, then add a generous tablespoon of salt to the water. Reduce the water to a simmer and let the potatoes and eggs cook for 7 minutes. Add the beans to the same pot and cook for 1 minute longer. Remove the pot from the heat and carefully strain, then transfer everything to the bowl of ice water.
Let the potatoes, beans and eggs cool for a bit, then strain and let everything drain on paper towels.
While the vegetables are drying, make the vinaigrette. Grate the garlic clove on a microplane into a small bowl or mason jar. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and then whisk everything well until emulsified.
Peel the eggs and slice them lengthwise in quarters. Arrange the eggs, tomatoes, potatoes and beans on a platter or toss gently together in a bowl. Add about 2/3 of the vinaigrette to the salad and carefully dress it, then add the remainder if desired. Taste and season again with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle with chopped parsley if desired.