There’s no real agenda driving my supper strategy. I’m not a vegetarian. Or a vegan. Or a raw foodista. I just happen to like simple things done well. And it doesn’t get much simpler than the innate goodness of these ingredients. I initially intended this nonchalant approach to dinner as an occasional indulgence, reserved for weeknights after a market run when everything is go-weak-in-the-knees fresh and my schedule is go-weary-in-the-head crazy. Although somehow it’s become an almost nightly observance. I just lose myself in the colors and textures on the cutting board. Chioggias and chard. Microgreens and cilantro. Corn off the cob and cherry tomatoes with Thai basil and mint.
While I’d like to say this habit is my dirty little secret, it’s not. My husband, E, knows my tendency all too well. And it drives him to distraction. We tend to fend for ourselves for supper on weeknights, although he does so in a far less chaotic fashion than I. But before he can do so, he needs a little space. Almost every night he’ll walk into the kitchen, hungry and tired, glance at what was moments before an empty counter but is now my canvas, and resignedly mutter, “Just holler when you’re done.”
Some may construe this way of assembling supper as underwhelming, unsophisticated, even an act of quiet and misguided defiance against a culture that demands a dozen or more flavors of Doritos. I’m okay with that. To me, it’s a means of reveling in summer’s extravagance. It’s sort of how I consider makeup during warm weather. Why bother with anything beyond a little mascara and a smudge of lip stain over a tan? There’s a frank earthiness about both. A willing embrace of what is. So call me a simpleton.
It’s not for long, this simple summer supper. Still, E won’t get his countertop back anytime soon. Come late season, as I mourn the loss of these ingredients, the pile-it-on-the-cutting-board approach will be replaced by its not too distant kin, the cook-it-all-in-one-skillet technique, dubbed greenmarket hash by one of my girlfriends. A recipe for another day, perhaps.
Photo © 2010 E Rossi. All rights reserved.