Archive | Salad

Gazpacho

HeirlomTomats_Temescal

Photo courtesy of Capay Valley Farm Shop

Wondering how to make the most of all those luscious, juicy tomatoes in your kitchen or garden? Katy Vigil-McClanahan of the Capay Valley Farm Shop offers her recipe for gazpacho:

“Preparing to make my first gazpacho of the year, I uncovered a memory I’d almost forgotten. Fifteen years ago, I was visiting a friend who worked on a biodynamic farm in upstate New York. She came home with a flat of culled heirloom tomatoes. They had soft spots, splits, and some worm holes, and you could tell they weren’t long for this world. And it was just too hot to cook. I was sure they would all go to waste—and not before filling our kitchen with bugs. My friend, though, just plunked the flat down on the table and shouted, ‘gazpacho!’

“I recalled making gazpacho with my mom, and it was a one-blender deal. This was more of an eight-blender batch, but it was so good that four of us ate it up in two days. Or that’s how I remember it: My brother says the pigs got some as well.

“I have become opinionated about gazpacho in my old age. I feel it really has to have bread in it, and a little bit of hot pepper to wake the flavors up.… Read More

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A Mindful Salad

marios-salad

A Mindful Salad of Red Oak Leaf Lettuce, Hard-Boiled Eggs, Roasted Radishes, and Chervil

RECIPE AND PHOTO BY CHEF MARIO HERNANDEZ

Mario Hernandez created two short videos on water saving to go with this recipe. You can find them at the bottom of this page.

Mario Hernandez is a chef and coordinator for Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association’s Cookin’ the Market program, which offers cooking demos each week to help shoppers get the most out of the local, seasonal produce sold at the market. The drought inspired him to write this simple salad recipe, in which not a single drop of water was wasted in cooking, washing, and prepping.

3 eggs
1 head red oak leaf lettuce,
1 bunch white radishes with leaves
Chervil (tastes similar to anise) to taste
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
Extra-virgin olive oil, to taste
Good quality vinegar
To hard-boil the eggs

You’ll save water and energy if you boil extra eggs for later use. Place eggs in a 2-quart saucepan with cold water to cover by 1 inch. Set on high heat and allow to come to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside for 15 minutes. Remove the eggs from hot water, peel, and cut into quarters.… Read More

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Grilled Watermelon Salad

From Lucero Olive Oil, www.lucerooliveoil.com

Serves 6–8

  • 1 medium-size watermelon
  • ⅓ cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (Try Lucero Arbequina, Miller’s Blend, or Ascolano)
  • 4 cups baby arugula
  • ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (try Lucero Traditional)

Cut watermelon into ½-inch spears. Place in a bowl and toss with ⅓ cup olive oil, then place spears on a hot grill and cook until lightly caramelized. Toss arugula, goat cheese, balsamic vinegar, and remaining olive oil in a salad bowl along with caramelized watermelon. Serve.

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Asian Pear and Watercress Salad with Sesame Dressing

From Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association, www.pcfma.com

Serves 6                                                        

  • 1 ½-inch-thick slice of fresh ginger, peeled
  • ¼ cup Asian sesame paste
 (or tahini)
  • 3 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 1½ tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon Asian chili paste with garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 medium Asian pears
  • 4 cups watercress, trimmed
  • 1 carrot, finely shredded

Process first 8 ingredients in a blender until smooth.
Peel pear and cut into julienne strips, then transfer to a bowl.
 Add watercress to the bowl, season with salt and pepper as desired, and toss gently.

Divide among plates, then drizzle with some dressing and sprinkle with carrot right before serving.

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Peter Piper’s Kraut

Culturing vegetables like cabbage with salt produces lactic acid and lots of beneficial bacteria, creating a probiotic health food that can improve digestion and build immunity. While krauts can be made in almost any vessel, I prefer to use a specially designed German sauerkraut crock made by Harsch. It comes with fitted stones that weigh down the kraut, and the lid features a moat that acts as an airlock, letting air out as fermentation happens but keeping molds from entering. If you don’t have one of these handy crocks, you can use a bucket, pot, large jar, or almost anything that will hold the cabbage. The Harsch crocks are designed to culture the vegetables over the course of about five weeks, but I find that this is sometimes too long for other vessels—the liquid evaporates and mold can form on top of the kraut. This doesn’t ruin the kraut underneath—just scrape off the top and then transfer the good kraut to jars and put them in the fridge. Eaten in midwinter, this kraut is a lovely reminder of the harvest season!

Yields about 1 gallon

  • 6 pounds green cabbage
  • 2 pounds peppers (Gypsy, bell, poblano, or other)
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon chipotle powder, if available
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice (“jamaica pepper”)
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ¼ cup minced scallions
  • 4 tablespoons sea salt, or as needed

Core, quarter, and shred cabbage finely.… Read More

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Mâche salad with blueberries and toasted almonds

Courtesy of Rick DeBeaord, executive chef at Café Rouge

½ pound mâche
1 pint blueberries
1 cup almonds
½ teaspoon Espelette pepper
¼ cup chopped parsley
1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt

Place almonds on baking sheet and toast in 350˚ oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Cool and chop roughly. Mix olive oil into vinegar with whisk then add salt and Espelette pepper.

When ready to serve toss all ingredients together and serve on chilled plates.

Serves 6.

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CUSTOM WEEDY GREENS MIX

Create your own weedy greens mix from the following suggestions. There are no correct amounts—just play and experiment. Your mix can last up to a week in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Bull mallow (Malva nicaeensis)
Chickweed (Stellaria media)
Chicory (Cichorium intybus)
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
Lamb’s quarters (Chenopodium album)
Miner’s lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata)
Nettle (Urtica dioica)
Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)
Sowthistle (Sonchus oleraceus)
Wild lettuce (Lactuca virosa or Lactuca serriola)

Add salad greens and/or baby spinach, kale, beet, or mustard greens from your garden or from the market. You might also add any herbs that strike your fancy, such as lemon thyme (pull leaves off the stem and add whole); chopped parsley or cilantro, chervil, tarragon, oregano, mint, and/or chives; and edible flower petals, such as from calendula, violets, or borage.

TIPS

• Pick vibrant looking weeds that are turgid (fat and vital) with unblemished leaves.

• If possible, harvest in the morning for long-lasting freshness.

• Baby weedy greens are milder and sweeter, whereas mature plants have a more bitter taste.

• Do not harvest in toxic areas, such as near busy streets (car fumes), adjacent to houses (most paint is toxic), or in any landscaped areas that you suspect might be maintained with chemicals.… Read More

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PRIMA’S SPINACH AND PERSIMMON SALAD WITH GORGONZOLA, TOASTED WALNUTS & BALSAMICO

Serves 6

6 generous handfuls baby spinach, washed and spun dry
2 Fuyu persimmons, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 cup walnut halves and pieces, toasted
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced, soaked in water and salt, and then squeezed dry
1/2 cup mountain Gorgonzola cheese, pinched into small pieces
Extra virgin olive oil
Good balsamic vinegar (We use “Riserva” by Sereni)
Lemon
Kosher salt

Lightly toss everything together with salt and oil. (Depending on the weight of the oil, about ½ a cup. But use common sense here-don’t over dress.)

Season with a few drops of lemon juice and enough balsamico to taste, but not to overwhelm-this completely depends on the brand.

Plate neatly and serve. Try this salad with a glass of good dry Riesling.

NOTE: In Italian, dressing is a verb not a noun.

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Warm Shelling Bean Salad with Grilled Shrimp

Adapted from Eating Local: The Cookbook Inspired by America’s Farmers

Shelling beans should be in good supply this season as growers have stepped up production to meet rising demand. When you purchase shrimp for this recipe, look for Pacific Coast wildcaught
pink shrimp, which are a Best Choice according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s SeafoodWATCH program (montereybayaquarium.org). If you can find wild-caught shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico, purchasing them will be a way of helping support the fishermen impacted by the BP oil spill.

2 pounds fresh cranberry beans, cannellini beans, black-eyed peas, crowder peas, or other shelling
beans
½ yellow onion
3 cloves garlic, halved lengthwise, plus 1 large clove, finely minced
4 thyme sprigs
1½ quarts water
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
½ large red onion, halved again through the stem end, then very thinly sliced
¼ cup minced fresh Italian parsley
12 fresh basil leaves, torn into smaller pieces
2 innermost celery ribs, thinly sliced
1½ cups halved cherry tomatoes, preferably red and gold types
Red wine vinegar
18 large shrimp (about ¾ pound total), peeled and deveined
1 lemon

Remove the beans from their pods; you should have 3–3½ cups.… Read More

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