Summer and the cooking is easy. Especially this year, when everything is early, and so fresh that bothering with the stove seems redundant. Leave me alone shout the peas and radishes. Keep me cool whisper the cucumbers. Salads are a cooks solution to those over heated and reluctant appetites, teasing forth hunger with light, crisp tastes -- a hint of licorice scented basil, a drizzle of bright lemon and suddenly we're ravenous. Here is one of the easiest combos ever. You can start from scratch, but I prefer to toss whatever leftover vegetables I have on hand together, chill them down, and call it a meal. Serve this as a side dish or add diced roast chicken or roast beef for a full meal. Vegans might welcome grilled tofu; a little cheese is lovely, too.
The recipe is simple -- grilled or steamed corn, green beans, diced onions and lots of chopped fresh herbs (use a combination of thyme, mint and basil). Then douse the dish with the Lemon Thyme and Mint Vinaigrette.
Lemon, Thyme and Mint Vinaigrette
makes about 2 cups
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup fresh chopped mint
1 small clove garlic, peeled and minced
2 teaspoons sugar
1-1/4 cups vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Put everything except the oil into a medium bowl and whisk together. Slowly whisk in the oil in a slow stream. Season with salt and pepper to taste. This will keep for about 1 week in the refrigerator.