Simple, but surprisingly good.
I scissored garden arugula, young and lively, then added chives, which sit in a pot outside my kitchen door, diced Cortland apples from neighboring Taft Farms and young farmers market carrots. They all got a toss in olive oil and a hair of salt, just to coat, and then a light sprinkle of white balsamic vinegar. Over the top, I shaved what Hawthorne Valley Farms calls Alpine Cheese with Caraway, which in this case is actually a hard aged cow’s cheese not unlike Parmesan, but oh so locally good. I was dubious about the caraway, but it really worked. Just use the best hard cheese produced near you, or anything with a flavor that will stand up to tangy arugula. This salad sat up energetically on the plate and met all my early fall flavor demands. Let me know what you think, that is if anyone is out there yet.
Finding local cheeses: Try your local market, farm stand, co-op, small mom and pop store, gourmet grocery or quality cheese shop. Your farmers market may also sell it. If it’s seasonal, ask where it is sold out of season. (I found my local goat cheese at my community minded liquor store, so think outside the box.) If you taste a local cheese in a restaurant, ask where to buy it. I found the cheese I used for this salad driving back from lunch at the Culinary Institute of America, screeching to a halt when I saw the sign. I’ve been to The Hawthorne Valley Farm Stand before; It’s a great model for an extended farm stand, stocking everything from bread using local grains to a the best of that morning’s harvest.