It’s always been funny to me when people talk about Labor Day weekend being the end of summer. Growing up in Oklahoma, summer temperatures stuck around for the better part of September. Here in Arizona, they can last until Halloween on a particularly bad year.
What I do know, though, is that some food are best when they are in season. Apples, for example. They’re fine year round, but they are certainly best in the fall. Peaches. Don’t even think about buying them in January. You won’t like what you get. Tomatoes too. Sure, we all buy them year round because so many recipes call for them, but we all know there is something extra special about a vine-ripened summer tomato. The color is bright, the flavor sweet, and the juiciness is just perfect.
So while summer may not be coming to a close here in the Sonoran desert, I do know tomato season will soon be ending. And I know that means I need to make a conscious effort to make a few dishes, like this easy, healthy, and colorful Greek salad, that will highlight tomatoes while they’re at their seasonal best.
slightly adapted from www.williams-sonoma.com
2 red bell peppers, cut into one-inch chunks
1 green bell pepper, cut into one-inch chunks
2 c. cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1⁄2 lb. feta cheese, cut into one-inch cubes
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
3⁄4 c. Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
6 anchovy fillets (optional)
2 TBSP capers, rinsed (you may wish to use 3 TBSP if you omit the anchovies)
1⁄4 c. red wine vinegar
2 TBSP minced fresh dill
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1⁄3 c. fruity extra-virgin olive oil
1. In a large bowl, combine the bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, feta cheese, olives, anchovies and capers and toss together.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, garlic, dill, oregano, salt and pepper. While whisking, slowly drizzle in the olive oil to make a thick dressing.
3. Pour the dressing over the salad, toss, and serve immediately. Keeps in the refrigerator for two days. Serves eight.