Thursday, July 16, 2009

Summer Salad Composition...

There is nothing I love more than a sunny summer morning and an outing to my local Farmers Market. Yum. The possibilities for the evening meal are always an inspiration and a delight.
I am impressed by the heirloom varieties of most vegetables, however recently carrots have caught my fancy. Did you know carrots come in many more colors than plain orange? Such as pale yellow, maroon with an orange interior, a creamy white and even a subtle orange. Each color even tastes a bit different. Indeed these are not the carrots of our youth or even the produce aisle of the supermarket!
Summers in Maine are much cooler than the rest of the country, the lettuces, peas, and herbs do not "bolt" (rush to flower, rendering the lettuce especially, bitter) and seem to last longer due to the lack of heat and humidity. So selections for interesting salads are readily available this time of year.
This Summer Salad Composition is easy.
Mixed Greens (about 3 cups)
Nasturtium Greens & Flowers (From the garden) about 1-2 cup
Basil, Dill, Parsley (one or all of this combo) a small handful
Young tender Snap Peas, gently sauteed to a bright green. about 1 cup
Many colors of heirloom Carrots about 3-4
Dried Figs, a large handful
Spring turnips (sliced thinly) These are small, about 7 or 8
Roasted Beets (Golden, Ruby Red or Orange) about 1 cup chopped
Artisan Goat Cheese (York Hill-Garlic & Dill if you can find it) about 1/4 of a cup
Drizzle with Balsamic Vinegar Reduction

Grab a large platter and cover with the mixed greens
Next tear the Nasturtium leaves and scatter over mixed greens
Julienne the Carrots, scatter artfully
Scatter Beets and Sliced Turnips and Nasturtium Flowers
Crumble the goat cheese place sprinkle on top
Drizzle the Balsamic Reduction vinegar.
Yummy, you now have a salad for 4.
This is excellent with some grilled, Fish, Chicken or any roasted meat.
We had a family dinner last night and enjoyed this salad last night with Lobster, which at 3.99 per pound is 1/2 the price of organic Chicken!