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The Patient Gardener
Jul 23, 2015
We have officially hit that time of year when summer seems to be screeching to its end. Some schools start in less than a month. Less. Than. A. Month. I want to reach into the clock, grab the hands of time and STOP THEM. I need more summer.
Conversely, I need my garden to hurry up. I have lots and lots of green tomatoes, but only a couple of Black Krim have ripened so far. My mouth is watering for the pure deliciousness of garden tomatoes. I want to pick cherry and yellow pear tomatoes from the vine and pop them into my mouth before I get back to the house. I want to slice a juicy, red specimen and layer with fresh basil, mozzarella and a few chunks of yellow tomatoes to make the most beautiful caprese salad you have ever seen. I want slabs of tomato sprinkled with salt, cut up with my cottage cheese, spiced up in salsa and in my sandwiches. For just a moment, I want to speed up the clock to ripen all those perfect tomatoes.
Thankfully, none of us have any magic skills to accelerate or slow down time. We all have to just take it as it is. I will continue to savor the dwindling days of summer, and appreciate those garden tomatoes when their time comes.
Brown Rice Garden Salad is a splendid recipe that pairs garden produce with nutty brown rice. Tossing everything together with a simple dressing makes a hearty salad for my lunches or a savory side for just about anything we could throw on the grill. It’s the consummate earthy summer salad, no matter what speed the clock is ticking.
Brown Rice Garden Salad
(adapted from Martha Stewart)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon sugar
freshly ground black pepper
2 cups COOKED brown rice
1 cucumber, sliced (I like English cucumbers that don’t need to be peeled, but peel and seed any other variety.)
2 cups baby spinach leaves
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved (any small tomato works, and a few yellow pear add more color)
Whisk together oil, vinegar, dill, garlic and sugar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add rice, cucumber, spinach and tomatoes. Toss to combine. (Serves 4)
Fran Hill has been blogging about food at On My Plate since October of 2006. She, her husband and their two dogs ranch near Colome.