Sunny Sunday Lunch


I missed my market fix this week, having been at a conference in Orlando from Friday to Saturday, a blazingly hot, seriously food impoverished city (at least in my very limited, Disney resort-centered experience.)

So this a.m., before it got too hot here in Bloomington as well,  my husband and I took a leisurely drive to the south shore of Lake Lemon.  Not all that far from the Port Hole Inn is a farm that we’ve come to think of as our own private market. They pile up whatever is ripe – corn, melons, tomatoes, potatoes, cabbage, squash – and post a price list. You just help yourself, leave your money, and get a cool and breezy drive around the lake in the bargain.

So lunch today was grilled vegetables with cilantro vinaigrette. It was my effort to recreate a lunch I had at Restaurant Tallent a week or so ago. Tallent doesn’t open for lunch but Dave, Krissy and I had to work on a Slow Food trip we’re making to Italy in the  fall and he offered to make lunch if I could come by after noon. (And of course I could; no one in her right mind turns down a Dave Tallent meal.)

It was super simple, but super good. All the vegetables were ripe and bursting with flavor. He just grilled them — cabbage and onions and corn (the first of the season) — layered some tomatoes with fresh mozzarella, drizzled everything with a fresh and tangy cilantro vinaigrette, and served it up with some grilled flour tortillas.

I spent the next two weeks dreaming about that lunch, but forgetting to ask Dave what went into the vinaigrette. This morning, vegetables on the grill, I decided to wing it. I squeezed a lime’s worth of juice into the blender, added about a quarter cup of cilantro leaves, a very small clove of garlic, lots of salt, and some canola oil (it was about 2/3 oil to 1/3 lime juice but to tell you the truth, I didn’t measure.) It was a bit limey, and I remember Dave’s being almost sweet, so I added some sweet white vinegar. (I used my favorite chardonnay vinegar, but no reason a white balsamic or something like that wouldn’t do the trick.)

The whole thing whirled up to a beautiful frothy green. We grilled the shucked corn directly on the hot grill along with the cabbage and squash. It was so fresh and sweet that about 8 minutes was plenty.

The vegetables, all deep yellows and pale greens, were flecked with cilantro and bits of char from the grill. They deserve a better picture, but we were too hungry to wait while I worried about composition, so I snapped quickly and then we ate it all up — a perfect light Sunday lunch on a hot summer’s day.

This version of the cilantro vinaigrette was great, but I’ll check in with Dave on the ingredients and if I am totally out to lunch (so to speak), I’ll post a correction.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Mae says:

    Fresh grilled corn… how lovely! I ate plenty of these growing up. Freshly picked from the fields onto hot coals!


  2. christine says:

    Dave says I’ve basically got the vinaigrette right, but he toasts about a tablespoon of coriander seeds, grinds it up and adds it to the dressing. Nice layering of coriander flavors.


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