Summer Relish



It’s amazing to eat produce when it is still warm from the sun.   These ingredients of summer that I’m finding in my garden or the Farmer’s Market—cucumbers, tomatoes, cilantro, onion—there is just nothing like fresh and connected to the vine or the soil sometime in the last 24 hours.


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photo by David Cavagnaro


It’s been a busy summer of catering with back-to-back and mid-week events crammed into the first two months of summer, but this is the flip-side payback to our winter break up north—this is the seasonal long haul.  The digging deep into the reserves of energy for these seemingly endless hours, days, weeks and months of non-stop activity is at least happening when the sun is giving us crazy long daylight hours.  I don’t think I could keep up this pace throughout the winter…


I can relate to my father who farmed his whole life—spring, summer and fall was full of activity, then he would use the winters to fix the tractors and do other equipment maintenance, and to take a break.  When they eventually quit raising livestock, those breaks allowed us to go to Mexico in January and February.

Because they spoke Spanish and had connections there, for many years my parents chaperoned Scattergood School‘s high school Spanish class trips to Mexico where we would stay in small villages in a work-camp setting for 6 or 7 weeks doing some kind of service project while everyone else back home braved the long cold winters of the upper midwest.  I was a kid so they had to bring me along…not a bad deal.  Once we were in Tepic, Nayarit living with families; once we were in the Sonoran dessert in tents and a camper; and other years in the Sonoran mesas near Chihuahua where it actually snowed.  It was an incredible experience to grow up with that opportunity, and it could not have happened if they had not been farmers who took breaks.


I am a big fan of breaks.


Too bad January is still five months away…




I hope you can take a break and enjoy this quick and easy salad!  Or relish.  Or whatever you want to call it.




Summer Relish

Prep Time: 20 minutes


Mix in a bowl:

1 Cucumber, diced

1 small Red Onion, small diced


Let rest for 10 minutes to allow the vegetables to ‘sweat’ their water.  Then rinse, drain, and dab with a paper towel to absorb the moisture.

Mix in a larger bowl:

the drained Cucumber and Onion

2 Tomatoes, diced

3/4 cup Cilantro, chopped

1/2 cup Plain Yogurt, full fat

1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds

1/2 teaspoon Coriander, ground

Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper to taste



Summer Bounty from the farm at Scattergood Friends School






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