A couple of weeks ago, I paid $133 to keep me in produce until Thanksgiving. A coworker helps out at a farm that has a CSA, and they were doing a middle-of-season share push. I am all about supporting CSAs, but as I am often cooking only for myself, my produce bin can easily be overwhelmed. But… $133. Time to start inviting more friends over for dinner.

Portland keeps talking about how everything is coming so late this year. “Well, I wanted to make cherry pie earlier this summer, but everything is coming in so late.” “I keep waiting for blueberries to show up, but everything is coming in so late.” Now here it is, the end of August, and we’re finally laden with farmers’ markets that have more than greens to offer. It’s time to slice up whatever you’ve got, toss it with some good olive oil and call it dinner, because the bounty has arrived. And my own late arrival to the CSA has me jumping right in.

I threw together a nice heirloom tomato salsa yesterday and munched on that while I simmered five pounds of apricots on the stove with ginger, cinnamon, sugar, lemon zest, and rosewater. After pouring that jam into the canning jars, I made this potato salad to take to Amanda’s birthday party. As I’m all about plowing through CSA ingredients, I’m also into rifling in the back of my pantry, and yesterday I pulled out a can of smoked trout. How could I go wrong? I thought.

When I left the party last night there were merely a few specks of cilantro remaining in the bowl. It’s messy, it’s bright, it’s comforting, it’s summer.

Potato and Cucumber Salad with Smoked Trout
makes enough for a potluck

Cook 2-3 pounds new potatoes in boiling salted water until tender. Drain and run under cold water, and when they’re cool enough to handle, slice. Put in a large bowl with half a diced jalapeno, the kernels of an ear of corn (canned/frozen won’t work well here – omit if necessary), a big handful of roughly chopped cilantro, a few sliced basil leaves, 3 sliced scallions, a peeled-seeded-sliced cucumber, a tin of smoked trout, and a couple of diced tomatillos (optional). Toss with about a teaspoon of salt, a few grinds of black pepper, and a few glugs of good olive oil.

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