I enjoyed using elements of my Japanese ceramics collection in composing today's shōkadō style bento. A light meal for a breezy, bright Friday: soba noodles tossed with stir fried shishito peppers, snap peas and garlic chives, drizzled with a mirin-soy dressing. Garden picked and lightly minty shiso leaves wrap around salmon salad in the upper right quadrant. A tender, sweet mochi and juicy watermelon "flowers" were a refreshing finish.
Right now the tomatoes are growing larger and more colorful on the vine and I'm watching the vigorous coilings of three French melon varieties as they bound beyond the limits of their raised bed. Several dahlias are in bud and I cannot wait to see their colors...this is a flower variety I'll be collecting for sure. In fact, I just came home from a favorite vegetable stand/garden nursery with a huge-blooming orchid-pink-lavender specimen!
(Montana, it was great seeing you yesterday and it will be so fun to check out Japantown together soon!)