Farmer’s Market Salad

I’m not a morning person in any sense of the word.  For me, any wake up time earlier than 9 am is far too early.  There’s absolutely no reason that I can fathom why a person even needs to be awake before then.  Most stores don’t open around here until 10; most restaurants serve breakfast until 11; and let’s face it, snuggling down into warm, toasty covers dreaming about flying kittens being a Peace Corps Volunteer in Greece chasing down a giant alligator perfectly normal things. Most mornings, it takes me a good hour to feel like I’ve truly woken up; it’s better that I don’t operate heavy machinery, make life-changing decisions or, really, function at any level  beyond taking a shower and making a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios.  It’s best if I don’t even have conversations.  I’ve been known to answer my phone, have a complete and detailed conversation and completely forget the event ever happened.

There is, however, one day of the week that I don’t mind crawling out of my bed, stumbling to the dresser, throwing on whatever I find that even remotely looks like it could match, and spending 15 minutes searching for my keys, that are nearly always kept in the same place, at 6:45 in the morning.  It’s that glorious day of the week that local Kansas farmers gather at the butt-crack of dawn* to sell locally grown produce, home baked and canned goods and all types of plants, fresh cut and potted.

The market officially opens at 7am, and while we try to get there close to opening, invariably many items are sold out, their description and priced crossed out on the chalkboards and posters that decorate each stall.  Punctuality is key.  Lately the market is crawling early and more items are crossed off when we arrive.  Lines are getting longer and, since it is Kansas, temperatures are rising.

And yet, I persevere. One morning a week (when my crazy schedule allows), I drag my sorry self out of bed, manage to put on clothes that are not only clean, but somewhat match, and make my way to the early morning farmer’s market.  It calls to me.  Juicy, candy-sweet tomatoes, carrots with frilly tops (I’m a sucker), multi-colored radishes that wouldn’t be caught dead in a Dillon’s grocery, the arrival of Gaeddert’s sweet corn.

And then it’s time for a nap.

*yes, I’m quite sure that’s the technical definition.

Farmer’s Market Salad

1 cucumber, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
2-3 radishes, depending on size, sliced
1-2 carrots, depending on size, sliced
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
salt, pepper to taste

In a bowl, mix the chopped cucumber and tomato, sliced radishes and carrots and feta cheese.  Top with the chopped fresh parsley.  In another small bowl, mix the extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and the salt and pepper.  Top the vegetables with the olive oil and vinegar dressing.

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