The weather truly has changed to fall and winter is just around the next icy corner. I have been wearing turtle-necks and extra sweaters all week – this is hardly the balmy October we had last year. Then, we were out in t-shirts on Thanksgiving weekend if I recall correctly. Yesterday I had to wear socks for the first time since May – that was truly difficult. Out come the blankets and warm coats, scarves, hats, gloves and mittens.
The one good thing about fall and winter is the freedom to cook the warm, enticing meals that I enjoy so much. Hearty stews and soups and intensely flavoured pastas and casseroles. Meats, stewing all day or roasting for hours in a hot oven reign supreme over my kitchen once the weather outside starts to dip. I even start to bake more, using up the autumnal bounty of apples and the last of the beautiful and delicious summer berries. Fall is really every cook’s favourite season, isn’t it?
It is always just a bit difficult to make the adjustment however and this year has been more complicated than usual. The days are so jam-packed and the nights even busier – I just don’t spend the time in the kitchen that I would like to. This past weekend was no different of course; there were trips to the in-law’s, visits from friends and lots of house-cleaning and winterizing to get done and not nearly enough time spent feeding our stomachs, or our souls.
But, even if summer has come to its chilly demise, I do still love to barbecue. And this salad brings the best that summer has to offer together into a dish fit for a chilly fall evening. Serve it with toasted or grilled sandwiches and it is the perfect fond farewell to summer with it’s glorious vegetables and it’s beautifully robust flavours.