Summer Salads

New Orleans, LA – Last week while dining at new Freret Street pizzaria Ancora, I was inspired to rush home and prepare a simple summer salad. That night on the menu, I ordered a "Market Salad." I was expecting a predictable use of lettuce. But during summer in Louisiana, lettuce is scarce. Instead, I found a green bean salad, simply prepared with olive oil, red pepper flakes, hard Italian cheese, and marinated red onions. Its simplicity combined with a use of what's in season reminded me of how liberating the locavore approach can be. And there's nothing more expansive than summer produce. Forget the well-traveled lettuces. Instead, seek out single item salads that feature okra, green beans, cucumbers, peppers, and anything that will happily sit in vinegar and oil. Encore to Ancora chef Jeff Talbot. Thanks for the inspiration. For the Farmers Market Minute, this is Richard McCarthy.