Summer Solstice Salad

Yesterday was the summer solstice. Here in New York City, we hit 97 degrees though it apparently felt like 102. Con Edison warned of likely power outages. My coworkers and I did our part by working with the lights off, which had a calming effect on an otherwise nutty day. I worked late, but it was still steamy by the time I got off the train in Brooklyn. It was 8:00 and I was hungry, but there was no way I was creating any more heat in my stuffy apartment.

Summer Solstice Salad

1 scape, thinly sliced (shallots, garlic and red onion would all work here)
1 tablespoon Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon good quality olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon dried oregano (fresh would be even better, as would Italian flatleaf parsley, chives, etc.)
Pinch sugar
Fresh-ground pepper
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 sweet red pepper, minced

  1. Combine all but the last two ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously. Then combine with the chickpeas and red pepper in a bowl.
  2. Now root around the fridge and pantry and see what you’ve got. I had some red leaf lettuce, baby heirloom tomatoes, feta and oil-cured olives. Hearts of palm or artichoke hearts would have been an excellent contribution from the pantry.
  3. Pack half of your lightly marinated chickpeas away for a future snack, toss everything together in a wooden bowl, and grab a fork. I find that salad for one is best eaten directly out of the bowl.

Midway through my meal, there was a gentle rap at the door. I grabbed my trusty wooden bowl and the remaining strawberries and joined my neighbors on the roof. The sun was just finishing its descent and there was a cool breeze in the air. Wine was poured. Plants were watered. Berries were eaten. And thus concluded the longest–and perhaps hottest–day of the year.

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