I do love summer, I do, I do! But this summer my love is being tested, for the first time really. I know I'll come out the other side OK. I would never forsake the refreshing afternoon thundershowers, insanely lush landscape and long nights for a cooler climate. Never, summer, OK? You're safe.
These salads are all quite simple. The beet salad was my way of using up the last of my beets from the garden. I lovingly swaddled them one by one in tinfoil... and then delivered them to a 500 degree oven. They roasted for about an hour, because they weren't the hugest beets. If you are working with bigger beets, just roast them until they feel tender when pricked with a fork. After removing the foil the skins slide off easily.
I quartered the beets, and combined them with a healthy amount of dill, allspice berries, red wine vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Optimally they should be refrigerated overnight to allow the flavors to combine, but chilling them just until they are cool is OK too.
Next on the plate clockwise is a simple tomato, basil, cucumber, red onion and parsley salad. I combined those ingredients with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Clean and comforting.
Finally, I made a hot zucchini, eggplant, and onion salad. I simply sauteed chunks of the vegetables in a bit of olive oil, and then seasoned. Voila! It was quite good cold the next day, as well, but someone in my house (not naming names husband) has a real thing for hot food, even when it's so hot out that people's faces are warping. So, hot salad it was.
With the salads we had toasted pita and pureed white bean dip. This dinner was fairly virtuous, dietarily speaking, but still very satisfying, perfect for enjoying a summer evening.