It’s almost November but I’m still trying to hang onto the coattails of late summer and autumn. I know that the rains are here, I can feel it on my head and the dog and I often come back soaked from our walks. I know how cold it gets at night since I’ve resisted turning on the heat and have instead resorted to sweats, sweaters, and blankets. I did turn the pilot light on for the gas fireplace and have used it several times; I’m not completely off my rocker. But one of these days very soon I’ll be turning the thermostat back on. But I have resisted embracing autumn’s and winter’s foods. Late summer and early fall were just so hectic that I didn’t really get a chance to indulge in the orgy of fresh veggies available. I resist the comforts of squash, greens, apples, and pears no matter how beautiful and tempting they may be. I know that I will be eating them for months and months…and months.
Luckily you can still find the remnants of the summer harvest. I’m not militantly local but I do prefer some items in season. Vegetables like tomatoes, red peppers, lettuce, and cucumbers, not to mention berries and fruits, always taste so much better when in season and local. They are allowed to ripen to their full potential and I can no longer bring myself to buy them out of season. Okay, so lettuce doesn’t really have a season and I break down and end up buying it from wherever on occasion but I really do prefer the taste when it’s local and I’m pretty firm about the other items.
The rains have started and we here in the Valley may not see the sun again until late January or early February. But you can gather together the last vestiges of your summer harvest and conjure a little make believe on your plate.
Avocado Shrimp Salad
Serves 3 as a main dish, 5-6 as a side dish or 1st course
3 small to medium avocados, chopped
2 cups cooked shrimp, chopped
3 boiled eggs, chopped
½ cup celery, finely chopped
½ cup green onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
½ cup cucumber, chopped
2 Tbsp. red bell pepper, finely chopped
½ cup plain yogurt
2 tsp. mustard
2 tsp. powdered garlic
1 tsp. dried dill
Lemon, salt, pepper, and paprika to taste
Place all ingredients, except lettuce, in a medium mixing bowl and toss lightly until thoroughly mixed. Arrange pieces of lettuce on plate. Place salad on top of lettuce.
You can use any color of bell pepper, but the red pepper adds color to an otherwise green and white dish.
I used honey mustard, but this dish could easily take a hot and/or grainy mustard.