It’s time to hoist up a couple large sized plastic containers filled with round budded colored mums and set them into the hour glass shaped bluish grey cement planters on each side of my front door. Lots of folks seem excited on the traditional rites of fall now moving closer by the day, and though I’m usually its biggest fan, this year I am admittedly entering it like getting into the cold ocean one toe at a time.
This might also have something to do with a posting a friend of mine placed on Facebook displaying a map of the United States showing Pennsylvania shaded in the colored overlay spanning the many states anticipating more than average snowfall this upcoming winter. I’ve had quite enough of snow days last winter. Thank You.
It causes me to ponder why we so seldom hear people speak of weather like death and taxes for no matter what Mother Nature chooses certainly we cannot avoid it. There are ways we can however, temporarily at least, circumvent the inevitable such as embracing and appreciating the final harvest among many of the common garden flavors still upon us, green and red peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes to name a few. Right? Combined then with a variety of additional standby ingredients and lending distinctions of Mediterranean influence, artichokes, Kalamata olives, feta cheese, capers, each unique flavor provides an added depth between the other fresh components giving complexity to the whole. A Mediterranean Style Meal in a Bowl even seems to suggest a simple pleasurable meal in those longer days with warmer climates shared on an outdoor patio, at a picnic, even a tailgate. If you, like me, are hesitant about this fall, or more so what the months following will bring, a Mediterranean Style Meal in a Bowl while the harvest is still plentiful is the best I can recommend, unless to suggest a grand winter getaway to a place that Mother Nature has already blessed with continual temperate climates, not snow days.
- 1/3 cup tablespoons red vinegar
- 3 lemons, juiced, strained of seeds
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, or more to taste
- 1 teaspoons fresh cracked pepper, more to taste
- 12 little red potatoes, cooked to just done, halved or quartered, tossed with a bit of olive oil, kosher salt
- 1 can artichoke hearts, drained, sprinkled with a bit of olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper
- 8-9 ounces kalamata olives,more or less, pitted
- 1 large red onion, sliced into thin half moons
- 1 large red pepper, seeded, pith removed, thinly sliced then cut in half
- 1 large green pepper, seeded, pith removed, thinly sliced then cut in half
- 1 large or 2 small cucumbers, striped, halved lengthwise, seeds removed, then sliced
- 2 stalks celery, sliced thin (optional)
- 12 ounces cherry tomatoes, more or less, halved
- 8 ounces feta cheese cut into small cubes
- 3 tablespoons capers, drained
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
- 3 tablespoons fresh chopped mint, optional
- 3/4-1 tablespoon kosher salt, more or less adjusting to taste
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh cracked pepper
- 6-7 ounces of baby arugula (optional), spinach or finely shredded baby kale may also be used
- Whisk dressing ingredients together. Gently combine all prepped salad ingredients into a very large mixing bowl, except the baby arugula, then pour over the dressing, sprinkle in salt and pepper, stir, coating well throughout. Check seasoning, adjusting to taste. Dump the finished dressed salad into a large decorative serving bowl. Toss in baby arugula just before serving. Alternatively, place a handful of arugula onto each platter and top with dressed salad.