Although summer is winding down, farmer’s markets are at their peak. Nothing is better than late summer tomatoes and corn. Local farmers here in West Michigan know that I am a bit of a fiend when it comes to sourcing products. I have been known to hit four different markets and source my meal from half a dozen farmers in any given week. So much for reducing the carbon footprint from eating local. Gotta have corn from Ham Family Farm. Arugula only from Grandson’s Garden. Bacon from Creswick Farms (THEY have zero carbon footprint). And don’t get me started on Laughing Tree breads. For the love of all that’s sacred, Charlie, make more Eldridge Parmesan Olive bread!! It gets a little competitive most Saturdays.
With all that commitment to sourcing ingredients, who has time to follow a recipe. Truthfully I am a bit ambivalent about recipes. I think there is nothing sweeter than a well tested recipe that works every time. They are worth their weight in culinary gold (I’m talking about salt, people!). However this time of year and with perfect ingredients, they can get in the way. There are no right or wrong ingredients for this dish. What’s in season? What’s picked at the peak of perfection? What sounds good today??
My go-to must-haves on this salad always include the first 6 or so ingredients listed below. The grilled or roasted tomatillos provide the acid, and the bacon and avocados provide the fat, thereby eliminating the need for a dressing. Self-dressing salad – pure genius!!! The rest of the ingredients always vary and the proportions are dealer’s choice. You can assemble all the ingredients except for greens and bacon well in advance. Just toss the more fragile ingredients in at serving time and don’t mix too well – I love the big chunky pieces of corn cut from the cob. It tells everyone you got your hands dirty. That makes it taste so much better. What are you waiting for?
As always, check the seasonings. If anything, I usually grab a generous sprinkle of smoked serrano salt. That’s salt and pepper in one-stop shopping – almost as brilliant as the self-dressing salad.
IF by some miracle you have leftovers, it makes a fabulous addition to a quesadilla. But more than likely, you too will have a guest that grabbed the serving bowl and finished it off with the giant serving spoon.
Hey hey hey – I said everything BUT the farmer. But anyway here’s Dan from Ham Family Farm – always good for a recipe or produce update.