Summer salads are one of my favorite things. If you couldn’t tell, look through the salad archives. I am all ABOUT the cool, the crispy, the sweet and the tangy, and the fresh fresh fresh. Summer is the single best time of the year for salads, because we can experiment, we have access to fresh produce that we won’t see for half of the year, and it’s hot outside. Cool salads rule in the summer heat!
Chayote is a fruit/vegetable native to Mexico, which is known around the world for its versatility, nutrition, and just plain deliciousness. It has about as many names as it has different recipes and ways to prepare it. I call it a Squash, but it is so much more than that!
We had a birthday or two come and go recently at Casa Sass, so we were due for a nice dessert. I asked John’s son, who is visiting, what he’d like, and key lime pie was the clear winner. It’s a favorite of mine as well — it makes me think of my mom, of Mexico where they grow all over, of Arizona where I used to live, not to mention key limes alone make me think of sitting on the beach under a palapa sipping a Michelada (good beer, over ice, with key limes muddled into the glass and salt on the rim). Key limes are basically fantastic in everything.
One of my favorite things to do in the Summer is explore farmers’ markets. I am originally from Arizona, which grows some produce here and there, but as Sam Kinnison said — it’s a desert. Nothing grows here. When I moved to Oklahoma, I was excited to discover that yes, Virginia, there ARE green fields that grow delicious juicy snappy fresh crisp fruits and veggies, and they could all be mine. MINE.
When the weather starts to warm, I start stalking farmers’ markets waiting for opening dates and schedules and lists of who’s selling wares. I had to start getting picky, because some “markets” were a parking lot with a few card tables and folks selling crafts and Tupperware. Some had some actual local farmers with fresh veg, but they’d be next to someone who backed up a pickup truck full of cantaloupes from Texas or something equally not cool.
Then, I discovered Brooks Farm Market in Oklahoma City, where the Oklahoma Farm Fresh Association members gather to sell fruits, veggies, meats, cheeses, jams, jellies, eggs, chickens, pasta — YEAR ROUND.