My Food Journey

Hot Days and Cold Salads

This is the first salad harvest from the garden! It’s a few different kinds of lettuces, some mustard greens, and nasturtium flowers. The flowers are edible – a little spicy, but good. There’s nothing like eating food that was picked just minutes before. It makes me feel more alive somehow!

Our part of California and some of the Pacific Northwest experienced an unusual early summer heatwave last week – it got up to the high 80s here on the coast, which rarely happens even at the hight of summer. Although I enjoyed it (I really love hot weather,) it was hard on the plants, especially the natives, who really aren’t designed for heat. I kept everything watered in the garden, and it seemed to get through OK.

Cooking anything hot in hot weather just isn’t fun, so we ended up eating a lot of salad. Here’s a few of the more interesting ones…..

This is a salad I had for lunch last weekend from things that happened to be in the fridge: butter lettuce, blue cheese, croutons, and raspberries. I dressed it with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, cracked pepper, and salt.

The raspberries really made it good! We’ve been getting some great prices at the Co-op recently on really tasty organic spring raspberries. I’m not exactly sure where they’re from – somewhere on the Central Coast I would guess. They sure are good though! I’ve been buying them two containers at a time and eating them for breakfast with oatmeal and yogurt. Just the taste of fresh sweet raspberries puts me in a good mood!

Earlier in the week I made a cold pasta salad for dinner. This is one of my favorite summertime meals, plus it’s one of those great dishes that you can make from almost anything that’s in the fridge.

This is Broccoli Raab (aka Rapini.) It’s not local, although the local stuff from Little River Farm has since started to come in. I sauteed it quickly in the cast iron skillet with olive oil and green garlic….

This is the green garlic chopped up. I’ve been using this stuff a lot this year. It’s basically just immature garlic that hasn’t formed a head yet. It tastes a lot like regular garlic, but a little fresher and “greener.” (duh!)

Not the most appetizing picture, but the finished salad sure was good! It consisted of pasta, broccoli raab sauteed with green garlic, fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, and oregano,) cheese cubes, olive oil, lemon juice, and smoked salmon. That, plus a gin and tonic was the perfect thing for a hot evening!

I bought these peas and some beautiful basil at the farmer’s market on Saturday, and made a really good potato salad, which unfortunately I didn’t get a get a picture of….It was potatoes, sugar snap peas, basil, rosemary, thyme, mayo, worstersire sauce, and lemon juice. Another wonderful cold dinner!

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