Simple, improvised salads are one of the purest joys of summer. Get a few flavor combinations down, and you’re set. Mark Bittman’s recent list of ideas of 101 salads is a great place to start, but really: just toss together whatever comes in from the garden and eat what you like. Not coincidentally, things that ripen at the same time tend to go well together. This is one of our favorites.
Green Bean and Beet Salad
About 1/2 pound of blanched green beans, preferably a full-flavored variety, like Romano
About 1/2 pound of cooked beets, cut into chunks
a handful of hazelnuts, toasted
a small clump of blue cheese, crumbled
~ 2 T olive oil
~ 1 T balsamic vinegar
Mix everything together. Serve sooner rather than later unless you don’t mind pink green beans.