While Labor Day signals the unofficial end of summer, we who live here in the Bay Area know that the best weather of the year is yet to come. The days are certainly shortening, but we will be blessed for the next two months with an explosion of summer produce even as the first pumpkins are showing up at market. Many folks pushed heirloom tomatoes onto their menus months ago, but in my opinion, the peak of our local tomato season is from the beginning of September through the first significant fall rains, usually around Halloween.
Tonight we will be debuting a new heirloom tomato salad that also features local heirloom muskmelons and cucumbers. Tossed with a red wine vinaigrette and spiked with toasted arbol chiles, the salad is finished with chopped black olives, raw goat feta, and sunflower seeds providing brininess, pungent richness, and crunch respectively.