Friday, August 28, 2009

Green Fields And Flowers

On Sunday we left my energetic seaside town that has a dance...tango...tangle of people and cars, and went to the midwest. It is a land of Firemen's festivals, country fairs and "hello, how are you doing?" We stayed with my sister Sandy and her husband, who live down a country road of just a few homes. They have their own lake out back and across the lane is a neighbor's field of haystacks and occasionally visiting horses behind a barbed wire fence...none were there that day. The rest of the family usually converge here from the nearby city as we catch up while the kids squeal with delight on the tire swing, catch slippery frogs, go for a paddle boat ride or just run and see what nature has brought today. The crickets and birds chime in the background. Sometimes in the morning when you wake up early enough, you can hear a neighboring rooster crow, "good morning!" At dinnertime, if there is a last minute extra mouth to feed, my brother-in-law volunteers to run down to the farm stand and get a few more ears of corn as my sister effortlessly turns out a meal for a crowd.

Then the time came when we had to leave. The plane lifted off and we reluctantly left the fields of green and family behind until next time.
Back at home, I looked at my own small garden and picked some lettuce that wants to bolt from the simmering sun we've had lately. The arugula already had some peppery flower heads, and the herbs are all flowering as they ready for the fall and its welcome crisp air. All I really wanted today was a salad of greens and tomatoes, no cukes, just the greens and the flowering herbs blessed with a light vinaigrette. It almost looked more like a bouquet of late summer than a salad, and it tasted sweet with an herbal headiness. If you close your eyes gently, you might be somewhere in a field of greens and flowers.
Field Greens and Herb Salad

6 ounces mesclun greens
1 ounce assorted herbs, such as basil, thyme, chives, dill, tarragon, mint
assorted herb flowers

For a composed salad, arrange mesclun greens, herbs and herb flowers on individual plates and drizzle vinaigrette over them. For a tossed salad, chop herbs, and toss with mesclun greens, herb flowers and vinaigrette.

Serves 4.

White Wine Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons white balsamic or white wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
sea salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl, whisk vinegar into olive oil until thickened and emulsified. Whisk in Dijon mustard and sea salt and pepper to taste.

Makes about 1/3 cup.

Field Greens and Herb Salad with White Wine Vinaigrette (pdf)

~Thanks to Sandy and Don for being such wonderful hosts and to the the family for great fun. And thanks Zac, for some of the great pics taken with your 40 year old Praktica film camera.

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La Table De Nana said...

You will smile when you see a future post..last night we had a similar salad and I took it's photo..
I don't have the charming narrative or beautiful photos to go with like you do..:) But that's why I read your blog and only proof read mine:) Oh that little girl:) On the tire..running and the hands..

So so sweet.

Hornsfan said...

Looks like a calming place - great way to recharge. The photos are beautiful!

Kathy Walker said...

Beautiful the lake. The sound of water is like a tranquilizer for me. A wonderful place to relax and a more wonderful place for growing up! Sweet little girls...

Mari @ Once Upon a Plate said...

Diane, thank you for taking us along ~ such beautiful photos; they reflect everything that is right about country living. I love every single picture. Very nicely done.

I adore flowers in my food ~ your salad looks exceptional. I want THAT for dinner! :)

Ry @ Sotto Il Monte Vineyards said...

What a sweet summer experience. Love the photo of the girl on the tire swing.