It’s been a spell since my last posting, and with all those cards, letters and comments Jane received about my blog writing talents last season … I’m lucky she’s lettin’ me post now. I promised Jane I’d be more focused and get right to the point this season, so here goes: We’ve got good news for the salad and stir fry crowd, as an abundance of freshly harvested greens are currently on sale at the farm stand.
Swiss chard, mustard greens, beet greens, arugula, basil, and a variety of lettuce greens are now on the stand and ready for you to enjoy. In addition, we have peppers, eggplant, beets, spring carrots, strawberries and cucumbers for sale. And the best news is that they are all naturally grown without the use of pesticides or other sprays that can make store-bought greens something of a toxic treat.
So, get those recipes out for your favorite chopped salads, garden salads, strawberry and beet salads, cucumber salads, arugula, potato and pasta salads and start enjoying all that fresh-from-the-field goodness today.
Need some inspiration? Well, you’re lucky that along with being an excellent blog writer I’m quite a cook, as well. Just ask my kids. A couple of my favorite summer salads are:
Strawberry Fields Salad
1 package mixed Dimond Hill greens
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
4 oranges (or nectarines, or clementines) sliced or sectioned
4 oz crumbled Feta Cheese
1 tomato, diced
½ cup chopped fresh basil
4 oz roasted, glazed pecan pieces
¾ cup Lemon-Poppy Seed Dressing (see recipe below)
Simply layer ingredients in your favorite salad bowl and toss with my famous Lemon-Poppy Seed Dressing.
Lemon-Poppy Seed Dressing
2/3 cup vegetable oil
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 ½ tablespoons poppy seeds
2 teaspoons finely chopped onions
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste
Put all ingredients into your favorite blending device and whirled away until smooth. Dressing keeps for up to a week in the frig, but is best when used right away.
Sound yummy? Well, it is … a very refreshing summer salad that’s great for either a light dinner or family BBQ.
Okay, how about one more … as a reward for reading this far into the blog posting (which even money at the farm said nobody was likely to do).
Arugula Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing
I love this salad because it contains bacon (of course) and because the warm dressing melts with the goat cheese to make a wonderfully creamy vinaigrette that the word “yummy” doesn’t begin to describe. (By the way, natural Vermont bacon and goat cheese are available on the farm stand.)
Here we go:
4 bacon slices
1 shallot, minced
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine (or apple cider) vinegar
5 oz. (more or less) of farm stand arugula or mixed greens
1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook bacon in a nonstick skillet until crispy. Remove bacon, but keep the drippings in the skillet. Sauté shallot in the drippings until just tender (about two minutes). Pour warm drippings and cooked shallot into a small bowl and whisk in oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Put greens in your favorite salad bowl and crumble goat cheese and bacon on top. Pour warm dressing over the whole thing and toss lightly to coat. Eat and prepare to sing my praises, as this is some good eating.
I could go on and on about salads, but the best thing for you to do is to come on down to the Dimond Hill Farm Stand and pick out your favorite fixings (don’t neglect the diary and cheese cooler) and strike out on your own favorite recipe. After all, one of the blessings of our New England summers is the early-season greens and the delicious all-natural salads that add so much taste and variety to our dinners and suppers … and healthy afternoon snacks.
Well, nuff said …