how to make the best salad in the world
BECAUSE TOMATOES ARE ONLY IN SEASON FOR SO LONG
than to follow a morning hike with one of Nancy's famous salads and some rosé, well, do tell. Nancy’s been killing the salad game for years, which makes sense since she grew up enjoying the bounty (literally) of her father’s green thumb in Ohio. (“i could always give directions to our house by saying ‘…the house that has the large garden by the road.’ it was that famous.”) and while we can’t all magically transport ourselves to her spacious San Anselmo kitchen to enjoy one of these salads in person, we did convince her to share the one she is making right this instant: a greek salad, full of sweet tomatoes at their summer peak.
we also got her to share a few Nancy-esque entertaining tips, too —
her hosting skills extend far beyond her salads, which is saying a lot.
(prep time: 20 minutes. serves 4 as a side, or 2 as a main.)
A FEW TIPS To get you started
- on working up an appetite before you sit down:“before lunch, my friends and i will enjoy fresh air and conversation on the six-mile Marin Watershed loop: there’s a steep hike at the beginning, and it ends with a rolling hill run down to a lake. (luckily the flux top and orion legging are quick dry.)”
- on shopping for ingredients: "start with fresh and organic where possible; that is where the flavor begins!"
- on food prep: "i usually won’t peel my cucumbers if the skin is thin; it is packed with nutrients. i use the whole cherry tomatoes so that the salad does not get soggy. and fresh feta brined in a salt brine is the best feta."
- on the wine (because there is always wine): "make it rosé, and make it Whispering Angel."
- on other such details: Rustic Bakery has the BEST artisan crackers, which pair well with this salad. eat outside and skip the music: listen to nature.
- 1 1/2 cup of tomatoes (cherry preferred)
- 2 cucumbers (the freshest you can find!) chopped into ½-inch cubes
- red onions, sliced thin and roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup of Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
- 3/4 cup of fresh feta, crumbled
- fresh juice from 2 limes
- olive oil (McEvoy Ranch has the best and freshest locally)
- 10 to 12 fresh basil leaves, cut in thin slices
- cracked pepper and smoked salt, to taste (i’m a lover of all things salt: it makes the flavors come out! my favorite and local source is Allstar Organics)
- sweet peppers (optional)
mix all ingredients together
lightly drizzle olive oil on top
sprinkle cut basil leaves on top
season with salt and pepper