Travelling is a fantastic thing. You meet new people, get to know their culture and try their food. But what if a country’s food doesn’t go very well with your usual diet? What if you eat lots of veggies and fruits on an average day but that said country loves meat, potatoes, bread, cheese and eggs? Then you make the best out of it, have a great time anyway and enjoy every second. And the moment you come back home you storm to the supermarket to buy fresh salad greens, seasonal vegetables and local fruits. At least that’s what I did after coming back from Romania yesterday.
I dropped my suitcase in the hallway, said a quick hello to my cats and went off to buy some nourishing food. The local fruit vendor was my first stop. Among other things I bought some of the last juicy strawberries of this summer. Surprisingly they are still in season despite being it September. But then again strawberry season seems to vary greatly in the Northern hemisphere. In Egypt it goes from late December to February because that’s when it’s least hot. In Germany strawberries taste best between June and August when it’s the warmest. And here in Turkey strawberry season is going strong since May, except for a few weeks when it was too hot for anything to grow. That was also the time when it was difficult finding fresh greens.
At the moment the weather is perfect, nicely warm with a pleasant fall breeze every now and then. Also, avocados are finally back in season, nectarine season is at its peak and delicious salads greens are in stock again too. These are all ingredients that make a perfect late summer salad.
I love mixing dark salad greens with fruits. Instead of complementing the salad with sweet-tasting vegetables like corn, carrots and cherry tomatoes (I know, theoretically tomatoes are a fruit), I add juicy fruits, sometimes roasted but usually raw. This hasn’t always been my favorite way to jazz up green salads. I had to get used to the idea of eating strawberries with arugula or roasted peaches with spinach. But it’s like adding apples and bananas to a savoury curry. At first, your mind scream’s a big ‘no way’ but then you have your first bite and your soul celebrates a big ‘oh yes’. If you’ve never had leafy greens and fruits, try adding one fruit at a time. Start with blueberries as they are not as sweet as strawberries or peaches. And let me know how you like it in the comments below.
Late Summer Salad
- 1 box / 150 grams / 3 cups of salad greens
- ½ nectarine
- ½ avocado
- 4 tbsp corn (raw or canned)
- 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup/ 80 grams strawberry halves
- ½ cup/ 75 grams blueberries
- 1 medium cucumber
- 3-5 tbsp dressing of you choice* (I recommend a simple lemon or herb dressing)
- Wash salad greens and divide between two bowls
- Cut nectarine and avocado in two parts and cut each half in thin slices
- Shave cucumber in thin slices using either a cheese slicer, vegetable peeler or mandoline slicer
- Add half of sliced nectarines, half of the sliced avocado, 2 tbsp corn, ½ cup strawberry halves, half the amount of the cucumber and ¼ cup blueberries to each salad bowl
- Sprinkle each bowl with sunflower and pumpkin seeds
- Drizzle with dressing of your choice*
*Herb dressing: Mix 3 tbsp of olive oil with 1 tsp dried herbs (I usually use thyme, oregano and basil) and season with salt