Well, it’s official. I am slowly but surely becoming my grandmother- both of them. These two Southern women of strong convictions and delicious confections knew from trial by fire through temperatures of hellacious measure how hot a kitchen could get in the dead of summer.
Late lunch and evening meal menus played to cold salads of potato, macaroni, Louisiana seafood and leafy greens, fresh farm to market fruits and vegetables served at room temperature (the absolute best way to eat a homegrown tomato!), crispy cold fried chicken or bacon, roast beef or thin sliced ham prepared the morning before, canned pickles and chow chow spiked with bite and flavor.
Even in these modern central air times, when the stove and double ovens are cooking and baking at full throttle in the good old summertime, things can get hot, hot, hot in the kitchen. I learned from the best it’s not the temperature it’s served at but the taste and presentation upon the plate.
My latest summer salad series recipe, Fig and Fresh Mint Vinaigrette, deliciously fits right in with the house salad rule for summer suppers. The Dijon mustard, olive oil, Kosher salt and fine black pepper make a tasty base. The complementing flavors of the fig preserves and fresh lemon juice brought on the zing, but two tablespoons of fresh mint chopped uber fine delivered a bright bite placing this vinaigrette in a whole new flavor category. This vinaigrette is summer in a jar. Simply fresh, simply delicious!
Note the vintage serving bowl I bought on our latest antiques treasure hunting trip.
Fig and Fresh Mint Vinaigrette
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 Tablespoons fig preserves
1½ Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
Kosher salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Whisk lemon juice, Dijon mustard and lemon juice in a small bowl until blended. Add olive oil and whisk until blended. Stir in the fresh mint, Kosher salt and pepper. To guarantee extra blended goodness pour vinaigrette into a small mason jar. Screw on the lid good and tight and give it a good shake to combine.