Monday, September 14, 2009

Summer's end farmer's market

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I love the fall. And I can tell it is upon us. I get very excited for the changing of the leaves, the rain, the cool temperatures, wrapping up all comfy and cozy. I also like all the great food that fall and winter bring. That is not to say that I am happy to see the bounty of summer leave, because I am most definitely not. But I am never sad when Brussels Sprouts season comes back.

I don't know exactly what it is about the fall that I love, but it lingers in my memory in a special way. I have memories of the starting of the school year and the anticipation it brings, Halloween nights and venturing out into the darkness, massive piles of leaves to jump and play in. I do think September is my favorite month. It was always full of possibilities, it was a beginning, a fresh new (school) year. No matter how old I get, I still think in school years.

One of the best parts of September is that, while diminished, you can still get fresh organic summer produce. Maybe its not as nice as first harvest, but walking around at my local farmer's market on Friday, I still had a bounty to choose from. I was in the mood for a spicy and complex Thai style salad. I stumbled upon Roti Rotisserie at the market, selling whole roast chickens which is EXACTLY what I wanted to use in my salad. I grabbed some other fresh ingredients and without venturing more than 5 minutes from my house, I was set for dinner. I was really pleased with how this salad turned out. Complex flavors, great flavor profile. Sweet tastes of summer on a perfect nearly fall evening.

Thai Mango and Chicken Salad


Ingredients


⅓ whole mango, chopped
2 cups arugula
½ green onion, chopped
¼ bell pepper, julienne
1 small carrot, julienne
2 tbsp. cilantro, minced
1 roast chicken breast, shredded
½ recipe Thai Salad Dressing
⅓ cup red cabbage, shredded

Directions


Toss together the arugula, cilantro, green onion, carrots, cabbage, and salad dressing (see recipe to follow) in a bowl. Top with mango and chicken.

Thai Salad Dressing


Ingredients


1 tbsp. roast chili sauce
1 tbsp. peanut butter
2 tbsp. fish sauce
3 tbsp. lime juice
2 tsp sucunata
1 serrano chili, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced

Directions


In a jar mix together all ingredients, whisk together until the sugar is dissolved and the peanut butter is throughly mixed throughout. Serve over top of salad, meat, or vegetables.

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