There’s a familiar list of what is so great about summer, but I’ll just cut to the chase: The best thing about summer is the food. I can’t get enough of the weekly kaleidoscope at the farmer’s markets, and I can’t get enough tomatoes and fruit in my belly to begin to satisfy the long dark hunger of winter. When I see the first Eastern Washington tomatoes arrive in Seattle, I am like a bird dog pointing out unsuspecting grouse. Usually arugula arrives at the same time, like a happy coincidence.
That One Salad from Lipari
Butter lettuce wasn’t in the original salad, but the contrast of the soft leaves with the slight bite of arugula adds a nice layer of flavor. If you can find the soft, fresh kind in brine known as Bufala, give it a try. A high-quality, flavorful olive oil and balsamic truly elevates an dressing. Good balsamic also makes a good dipping sauce. The tinned tuna you use to mix with mayo for sandwiches isn’t what I’m talking about in this dish. Look for a quality imported tuna packed in olive oil from locales such as Spain; often you’ll find it sold in small jars. It will cost more, but it’s the heart of this dish so give it a try.
2 cups of arugula (aka ‘rocket’)
1 small head butter lettuce
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
8 ounces (about two cups) ripe tomatoes
About 6 ounces good quality mozzarella
1 tablespoon quality olive oil
1 teaspoon quality balsamic vinegar
1 6 oz. tin or jar of imported tuna
Sea salt and ground coarse pepper