Georgia Summer Salad

In terms of local produce, this is just about my favorite time of year: local freestone peaches and tomatoes are just coming into season, and the herbs that I grow in big pots on my patio start to flourish. I’m also still getting a few beets in my CSA veggie box, so I have a lot of my favorite fruits and vegetables on hand.

Facing a long day at the office, I decided to use some of what I have in the house to make a fresh salad to go with my lunch today. I wound up using a lot of different ingredients, but since I only used things that were previously cooked (steamed beets and frozen, cooked wheat berries) or that just required rough chopping this came together really fast.

As with all of my salads, I don’t measure and think ingredients should be substituted according to your taste. My rule of thumb is to use a variety of textures (I used chewy wheat berries, soft fruits, and the crispness of toasted pepitas) and flavors (sweet beets and even sweeter peaches, salty feta, and some herbs). I thought about adding leftover grilled bison flank steak, but since I had cooked wheat berries in my freezer I used that to add some protein and saved the flank steak for dinner. I grow fresh mint and basil, and used a lot of it – I didn’t measure but probably used at least 1/4 cup of them, combined.

In a bowl combine:

  • steamed beets, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • peaches, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (you can peel them if you like, but I only cut away bruised portions of the skin)
  • cherry tomatoes, cut in half or quartered, depending on size
  • cooked wheat berries
  • toasted pepitas
  • mint, chopped
  • basil, chopped
  • crumbled feta cheese

Drizzle with olive oil and a good-quality balsamic vinegar.

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