Here's the salad we've been gobbling up lately. Inspiration came from Nigella Lawson in an episode of Nigella Lawson Forever Summer Pink. Nigella used regular black olives but I prefer the wrinkled, oil-cured fruity ones. She used mint but, ultimately, we prefer parsley or basil. She marinated thinly sliced red onion in the lime juice and I've done it but don't always do it. Often, I just squeeze the lime over the salad. And I don't toss this salad because that just mushes it. I layer it.It's simple: slices of watermelon, chunks of feta cheese, oil-cured black olives, freshly chopped basil or parsley, a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lime. It's delicious.
Apparently, the folks at the Westlake Whole Foods liked the salad idea because I was one of seven winners. I won two tickets to the Summer Supper Club.
From the Whole Foods website:
We will be joined by Alan Linck, Westlake's Produce Team Leader, and our menu will feature local and seasonal produce lovingly prepared by Chef Hayden.
- Baby Lettuce Salad with Pickled Sweet Onions, Figs, and Local Cotija Cheese with a Chipotle Citrus Dressing
- Chilled Cucumber and Green Garlic Yogurt Soup With a Jalapeno Plum Relish
- Chile, Heirloom Tomato Braised Baby Summer Squashes with Fresh Corn, Pumpkin Seeds, Raisins, and Pinenuts on a Poblano Masa Cake with a Cilantro Crema
The cotija cheese gave a bit of richness.
The next course was a yogurt and cucumber chilled soup with green garlic and a plum and jalapeno relish. A bit strong on the green garlic. Not at first but it built up. I have a high tolerance for garlic but raw garlic, even green garlic, is pretty strong. But the idea of this soup was inspiring and I'll be trying to replicate it soon at home.
The final course, the dish that really shined, was the calabacitas. My version of calabacitas is more of a soup creamed with goat's milk. This version was hearty like a stew but without meat. The thick red base was full of flavor, thanks to olive oil and butter, and smothered the two masa cakes hidden underneath a wealth of zucchini, summer squash and Thumbalina carrots. Instead of corn kernels, a hunk of cobb corn was in each bowl. Pepitas and pine nuts added contrasting crunch to the soft vegetables. We ate every bit in spite of how full we felt. We knew we would not get this again unless I figured out how to make it or a dish similar. I'm up to the challenge, especially if the weather doesn't change.
Thank you Emily, Tami, Alan, and Chef Hayden for the opportunity to experience Summer Supper Club!