When I was a kid, summer ended in the beginning of September, on the first day of school. These days, however, I let the season linger, embracing the last of the long days and warm weather as the season gently transitions to fall.
So I was caught by surprise the other day when I read a lovely post by Hannah of Honey & Jam. In honor of everything she loves about the approaching season, she looked ahead to the golden-lit, apple-filled, crisp days of autumn. Though the Seattle weather forecast has highs in the 70s and even 80 one day this week, I’ve now started to think about how I want to spend the remaining weeks of summer as I look forward to fall, one of my favorite seasons. On my late-summer list: sipping mojitos on the porch with my husband after work (he makes the best mojitos I’ve ever had), eating an abundance of perfectly-ripe late summer produce, and establishing a new routine of regular walking before it gets cold outside and I lose my motivation.
With that, I’d like to offer you a trio of summer salads as inspiration to take advantage of the best that summer has to offer before we welcome fall. These salads are from The Nordic Diet by Trina Hahnemann. Though the word “diet” is in the title, this book feels less like a diet book than a beautiful and delicious cookbook aimed at inspiring people to adopt healthy and sustainable eating practices while losing weight in the process. Serve these salads with grilled salmon or chicken and maybe a glass of chilled white wine or rosé and you’ll be in for a real treat.
Napa Cabbage with Shrimp, Watercress, and Radish
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
5 1/2 ounces napa cabbage (the original recipe calls for pointed cabbage), cut into inch-long slices
7 ounces cooked bay shrimp
5 ounces radishes, thinly sliced
2 ounces watercress
Whisk vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper together in the bottom of a large bowl. Add cabbage, shrimp, radishes, and watercress, and toss until combined.
Tomato, Cucumber, and Mint Salad
9 ounces cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped mint
salt and pepper
juice from half a lemon
Cut cucumber in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Cut into thin slices. Halve the tomatoes. Combine cucumber and tomatoes with the mint, salt and pepper, and lemon juice, and serve.
Fennel, Strawberry, and Feta Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette
1 head of fennel, thinly sliced with a mandoline grater
1 cup strawberries, sliced
1 cup crumbled feta
1/2 cup raspberries
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or raspberry vinegar
Soak the sliced fennel in cold water for 30 minutes to allow the edges to curl up. Drain well, then gently toss with the strawberry slices and feta. Make the dressing by blending the raspberries and vinegar in a food processor or blender, and drizzle over the salad.
Recipes serve four or more people.
Full disclosure: I received a review copy of The Nordic Diet from the publisher. However, I made no promises to give a positive review, and am sharing my honest opinions of this book.