It can never hurt to have a few great summer side dishes, which can be whipped up at a moment’s notice for a picnic, BBQ, or whatever other celebrating you’re up to. Inspired by an early morning trip around the San Francisco Ferry Terminal farmer’s market, these dishes were not particularly revolutionary but called on the best seasonal produce, were packed with flavor, and even brought out a bit of nostalgia for magical childhood summers.
Read on for a simple caprese salad, sweet corn with pickled onions and lime, and a platter of fresh farmer’s market fruit.
- About 3 or 4 cups of ripe tomatoes (any type is fine)
- 1 ball of fresh mozzarella
- 6 basil leaves
- Olive oil
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Herbs de Provence
- Flakey sea salt
Heat the balsamic vinegar on the stove until it has reduced by about half. Set aside to cool. Cut the tomatoes into appropriate bite-sized pieces and spread in a wide bowl or platter. Drizzle the tomatoes with the reduced balsamic and olive oil, and sprinkle with herbs de Provence and salt.
Slice the mozzarella, and place decoratively over the tomatoes. Chiffonade the basil, and sprinkle on top of the dish. Finish with more flakey sea salt.
(It’s tempting to put this salad in the refrigerator, but the mozzarella tastes much better at room temperature. Try to hold out, if you’re eating within a few hours!)
Fresh Corn Salad with Pickled Red Onions and Lime
- 5 corn husks, kernels removed
- 2 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- Zest of one lime
- 3 tablespoons pickled red onions, chopped
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup cotija cheese, crumbled
Let coconut oil or ghee melt in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the corn kernels and sprinkle generously with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn is lightly browned but still crunchy. Turn off the heat.
Add the lime juice, lime zest, and pickled red onions, and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or lime, if needed. Sprinkle with cilantro and top with cotija cheese.
Taste all the seasonal fruit at the farmer’s market. Choose your favorite. Slice and serve!