It’s always a sad day when you realize that that peach you were saving in the fridge (you know that peach? the one you were waiting for just the right moment to sink your teeth into, anticipating the sight of that bright orange interior and feeling the juice running down the side of your cheek) has gone bad. That’s right, badddddd. Now it’s mealy and browned in spots when you cut it open. Bummer! Luckily, theres about one square inch of it that you can salvage, but it’s really just a tease until next summer when peaches are in season again.
If you know the feeling, you know just as well as I do that it may just be time for fall. Here in NC, early fall doesn’t mean the same thing it does “up North.” We don’t start our apple picking for at least a month, and apple cider doesn’t start appearing on supermarket shelves until October. (For some strange reason, Pumpkin Spice EVERYTHING and candy corn make their debuts in late August… thank you, commercialism, Starbucks, and Cadbury.)
I don’t mind the end of summer, but I sure do miss the produce that I’ve been able to get a bounty of at the farmers’ market every week. Tomatoes, peppers, corn on the cob, and PEACHES galore! I took this gorgeous picture this week at the market, just for the colors! I can’t stop looking at it!
Anyway, this salad makes the most of the very “best of” the last of the summer produce (including that salvaged pear!). Roasted veggies, mushrooms, and garbanzo beans blend with the salty kalamatas and a crisp lemon-dill sauce to make a perfect side dish or main. I mixed mine with whole wheat couscous (mostly because I’m lazy and couscous is as easy as stirring boiling water into the grains and letting it sit) for a Meatless Monday salad. Topped with a fried egg, a few peach wedges, avocado, crumbled feta, and a few chopped dates, this salad is a perfect combination of everything I love about summer salads. Fresh, hearty, and stick-to-the-bones-not-the-hips delicious!
- 2 cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 container mushrooms
- 1 container broccoli and cauliflower florets
- 1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp greek seasoning
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 bunch fresh dill, roughly chopped
- juice of one lemon
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp EVOO
- 1/2 cucumber, seeded and roughly chopped
- 1 container grape tomatoes
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted
- 1/2 cup marinated artichokes, roughly chopped
- 4 large carrots, peeled into strips with vegetable peeler
- Baby spinach
- 1 cup whole wheat couscous
- feta cheese, avocado, and pita for serving
- Heat oven to 375. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients up to cucumber. Bake for 20 minutes, toss, and bake 10 minutes more. Set aside.
- Add cucumber, tomatoes, olives, and artichokes to food processor and pulse 2-3 seconds or until roughly chopped. Remove from processor and set aside.
- Add half of the chickpea mixture and pulse until roughly chopped (we’re not going for hummus here!). Add to remaining half of the chickpeas. Toss it all with the other veggies and carrots.
- Boil 1 1/2 cups water. In a large bowl, stir boiling water into 1 cup couscous and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork and add to the rest of the salad.
- Top with feta cheese and more lemon to taste.
- Serve on pita bread or over quinoa, couscous or other grain of your choice!