Every week I visit the local farmers’ market and come home with armloads of goodness from the vendors. I wish I could eat more of what they grow.
Last week, I made a list and tried to stick to it. It was all the local veggies I needed for a salad nicoise – a simple summer salad recommended by my blogging sidekick sis.
If you like make ahead entertaining meals, this is a great one to try. Here’s how I constructed my version.
- hard boil 3-4 eggs, peel and slice in quarters
- briefly steam a big mittful of fresh green beans – trim one end
- simmer new potatoes until just done – cut in halves or quarters depending on the size
- prepare the salmon – I marinated fresh atlantic salmon in equal parts maple syrup and soy sauce for about an hour (skin side up) – then with skin side down, and a generous layer of sesame seeds sprinkled on top, I baked them for about 15 minutes at 425F
- then the assembly – bib lettuce on the bottom, piles of potatoes, eggs, beans, and Kalamata olives – toss capers over the whole thing and rest the salmon in the primo spot
- drizzle the entire presentation with dressing – I used this dressing, you could also try HAR’s everyday go-to homemade dressing.
A side of fresh bread, great friends and life is good.
It’s hard to want to spend much time at all in the kitchen with the extended heat wave that seems to be just about everywhere.
Then I remembered how easy it is to just chop up all the local veggies that are showing up at my local farmers’ market. Last week’s haul included shelling peas, green beans, green onion, cherry tomatoes and multi-coloured carrots.
So I chopped, shredded and tossed, added in some cooked quinoa, local apple cider Dijon dressing and feta…and voila.
What are you cooking in this heat?
It’s not a new idea, but I’ve been enjoying the benefits of somebody else chopping up all the veggies for my salad, lately. If I waited until I bought the lettuce, shredded the carrots, cabbage and kale…well, I’d eat salad about once a month. Or only in the summer after a trip to the local farmers’ market.
This week, I stockpiled my 7 to 10 servings with a pre-shredded mixture of kale, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cabbage and probably some other good stuff. I added in some delicious salmon that someone had kindly baked for me already (the store) and tossed it all in a delicious apple Dijon dressing that was expertly mixed and made by someone else.
There are definitely times when I want to make it all from scratch. And for all those other times, thanks to the choppers and mixers in the backrooms of local grocery stores.
After last week’s “whine” about seasonal transition disorder…I’ve been trying.
It started with a trip to my local farmers’ market on Saturday morning for a bag of fresh lettuce mixture. Made sure I had some veggies around. And have had THREE, yup three, salads this week so far. Washed the lettuce. Cut up cherry tomatoes, an avocado, added a little cooked chicken and some asiago cheese.
It’s happening. I’m making salads and walking and trying to only watch one hour of Netflix at a time!
How are you doing this week?
I’m trying to get back into summer salads. I love to eat them. Just need a little nudge every year about this time to find a recipe, do the shopping and mixing…for a bowl of crunchy, tasty goodness.
With fresh, local baby kale in hand, I found this Kale, Carrot and Apple Salad recipe. I always improvise and for this recipe, I grated the carrot and added feta at the end. Always a great idea for any salad.
And this Raw Kale Slaw is delicious too.
Trim centre rib from one bunch of kale, stack leaves and cut into this strips. Place in large bowl and toss with 1/2 cup olive oil, 3 tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 clove garlic (chopped), 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 pine nuts (toasted) and 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes (chopped).
Let salad stand at room temperature for 15 minutes to allow flavours time to blend and kale to soften. Finish with freshly grated parmesan cheese (or feta).
Winter isn’t over yet, but we’ve had hints of the warmer, lighter weather to come.
That’s got me thinking about how the food I make also changes with the season. In winter, I love having homemade soup that I’ve made on the weekend, frozen in little containers for workday lunches.
But I’m ready for a change. And I think brown rice might be the answer. I love the taste and often shy away because it takes 45 minutes to cook. But on a weekend, I can always find the time to make it while the rest of the meal is marinating or baking.
I made brown rice tonight to go with some trout and kale salad. And the leftover will become a great hardy salad that combines the woodsy chew of the rice, grated carrots, green onions, probably some feta and a little dressing. I might add some of the leftover trout in for extra protein, or cooked chicken, hardboiled egg or leftover baked sausage bit.
Stack it all in a wide mouthed jar for lunch that tastes and looks great.
Here’s a greek salad with brown rice,
And some great salad in a jar recipes.
What do you make to mark the coming spring season?
It’s January and the time of year when many of us are trying to maintain or increase our salad consumption. Here’s an idea…drink your salad!
I make a smoothie every morning that has about 3 cups of kale and spinach in it. And what’s even more impressive—it tastes good!
I start with about 1/2 cup of frozen wild blueberries in the blender. I add about 1 1/2 cups of water (or coconut milk, almond milk or milk). Add 1T ground flax seed, 1/2 banana and apple or pear, a few cubes of ice and then several large handfuls of greens. Blend it, drink it and relax because you already had your salad for the day!