By yesterday evening, the garden was empty save for a dogged, heady patch of kale and a few struggling stalks of brussel sprouts.
The tomato plants were ripped up, spurned by their roots and left to compost near the wood pile.
Basil, thyme, and cilantro still sat guard in the brick row out front, but there was little left to watch, save for the stoic kale.
This will all change today, of course, as spinach and scallions replace peppers and tomatoes, and the showy, outrageous fruits of summer give way to a quieter sort of growth. But still, the upheaval from one season to the next required a celebration, of sorts, and so we decided to put together a last garden dish.
With the ripe cherry and heirloom tomatoes I'd picked, we put together a finale salad to bid the summer garden farewell. We sent it off in style; bright orange balls beside thick red slices with the cheer of a yellow plate. I threw our last beets in to boil, and, warm, they piled on. Their heat melted the Great Hill Blue into a thick cream, cut with a dash of vinegar and a good sprinkle of salt.
The colors were beautiful—as vibrant as the trees—but they were foreboding, too. Any winter plant, even the greens, would pale in comparison, save for the winter berry or perhaps a sprig of holly. But for now, this one last summer garden night, we reveled in the taste of the colorful season.
GARDEN FINALE SALAD
Slice 2 large heirloom tomatoes into thin rounds. Arrange on a plate in a circle; fill center with ripe cherry tomatoes. Top with 1-2 ounces crumbled Great Hill blue cheese and 3 warmed beets, sliced thin. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon white wine or cider vinegar and sprinkle with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. Enjoy warm.