Like clockwork, a year to the day, since our last year’s tomato tasting, Corey Mintz shows up at my door to borrow a cup of tomatoes. He was bearing my ORANGE! Kozial shopping basket. I had missed it so badly, a year is along time to pine for a shopping basket, that I decided to celebrate its return with an orange salad from my garden.
”Caro Rich” a true orange tomato, hung tantalizingly ripe in my garden. It was an obvious first choice. Foraging in the garden , I came to my peace sign-shaped marigold bed. I picked the marigolds that I had planted in my textile garden to keep my giant teak elephant from Rajasthan company. In the front yard I have two ancient pots holding tomatoes and under them I had planted carrots from seed. I have heavy clay soil in my garden and despite many years of soil amendment, carrots will only grow in a pot. Nasturtiums trail up my front walk. I picked the orange ones. Out onto the boulevard and my Swiss chard. I found some leaves with orange stems and picked those. Now for the dressing, Saffron? Commonly lauded as yellow ,the saffron that a friend brought me was definitely orange.
I prepared the dressing by putting a pinch of saffron in a blender, adding a small spoon of dijon mustard, a dollop of honey, a peeled peach [pastel orange] and salt to taste. Blend until smooth. taste and adjust adding little lemon juice if you think it needs it.
Thinly slice the stem of the chard, use the leaves in another dish. Place in small pan, appropriately I have an orange one, but any color will do and will not effect the taste.
When the chard is boiling , drain and refresh under cold water.
Assemble the salad .If you happen to have an orange plate, so much the better. Slice the tomato and arrange on plate. Top with diced carrot, sliced chard and then the dressing. Pull the marigold petals away from the stem and artfully arrange the petals and whole nasturtium flowers on top of the dressing. As a florish I placed a few “Painted Lady” runner bean flowers [truthfully, on the red side of orange] on top. Serve