September might not *officially* mark the end of summer on a calendar, but for most of us it sure does mark the end of summer in our hearts. I personally love September; the air gets a little chillier, the days a little shorter but it also has this renewing power – and if you ask me – my friend Scott F. Fitzgerald said it best:
Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.– F. Scott Fitzgerald
So for those of you who might be sad to see summer coming to an end or for those of you who are excited to see the leaves change; here is a recipe that marks (at least for me) the changing of the seasons, colours and tastes. It celebrates the end of summer with stone fruits and edible flowers and welcomes the beginning of fall with tomatoes and rich cheese.
- 6-8 tomatoes on the vine (red, yellow, orange)
- 1 peach
- 2 apricots
- 3 figs
- A small handful of basil
- A small handful of red grapes
- Edible flowers and leaves (such as Nasturtiums and Pansies)
- 1 large ball of Mozzarella di Bufala, sliced
- 1 cup arugula
- Maldon salt (to taste)
- 1 baguette, sliced and toasted (optional)
- White Balsamic Reduction Dressing:
- 5 tbsp good white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp white granulated sugar
- 1 tsp olive oil
This recipe mostly involves the assembly of the salad and is something you can get creative with! A great recipe to bring to a potluck or for entertaining since it’s basically a work of art that comes together in no time at all!
- Core and slice the peaches and apricots and set aside. Halve the figs and tomatoes and set aside. Slice the Mozzarella ball into approximately 6 slices (depending on the size of it) and set aside.
- Sprinkle the arugula on the plate and begin to assemble the salad by arranging the fruits on top of the arugula followed by the mozzarella slices (the more crowded – the better). Once you have laid down all the sliced fruit and cheese and the arugula is more or less completely covered, place the basil leaves and edible flowers sparingly on top.
- Now, start on the dressing. Since it’s a reduction, you want to do this after you have assembled the salad or else you risk it turning into too much of a syrup consistency to drizzle. In a saucepan, heat the balsamic vinegar over medium-high heat and as soon as it starts to simmer, whisk in your sugar until it dissolves completely. Remove from the heat immediately and let cool for about 30 seconds then using a spoon, drizzle over the salad. Now drizzle the olive oil over the salad and top with a GENEROUS amount of maldon or any rock salt.
- Serve with toast or on its own – enjoy immediately!