Monday, June 22, 2009

garden-fresh salad!

i'm not sure why this non-recipe is what gets me back to posting, as it is far from the most exciting thing i have made recently--though since saturday's sour cherry freezer jam experiment was well documented, i may post on that also. i think it's just exciting: lettuce from the garden!, strawberries from the farmer's market!, a new and tasty but super-easy tempeh marinade! it's so early summer, and as the weather outside is solidly grey and rainy, i need something to remind me about seasonality.

i made this salad last night, and brought more for lunch today, and it was just the right combo of light and fresh and hearty and flavorful.

first i:
went to the garden and picked lettuce and the last couple of chive blossoms i could find.
this is a picture of chive blossoms

and they are amazing. they will come up again later in the post.

then i:
went to the farmers' market and i got a pint of strawberries even though, as was pointed out to me, we had plenty in the fridge and were getting more in our farm share on tuesday. but the ones in the fridge were from the grocery store, and i didn't want to wait until tuesday.

after that i:
looked around in the fridge and found: 1 pkg tempeh, 1 small spring onion, 1 carrot. i took my chive vinegar that i made in may down from it's lovely spot atop our refrigerator, and got out our nice olive oil (thanks, ocean state job lot!). then i grabbed some apple cider vinegar, ground cumin, a bay leaf, and paula deen's house spice blend (this is just: salt, pepper, garlic, onion).

okay! so now i have my ingredients:

  • lettuce

  • strawberries

  • chive blossoms

  • chive vinegar

  • tempeh

  • carrot

  • spring onion

  • olive oil

  • apple cider vinegar

  • spices (cumin, salt, pepper, garlic, onion, bay leaf)

but you could substitute for almost any of those things. it's just a template!

first, i chopped the tempeh into cubes and marinated it in a mixture of 1 pt olive oil:1 pt cider vinegar, then diluted it to half and half with water. i added the spices, stirred, and put in the tempeh.

next, i sliced the strawberries, chopped half the onion into really tiny pieces, and broke up all the chive blossoms. at this point, it was SO PRETTY:

i got out my mandoline, which is amazing, but you could use a knife, and sliced the carrot really thin. i tossed it into the salad, also.

next, i sauteed the tempeh until it was browned, and let it cool a little bit.

while it was cooling, i washed the lettuce really well. it was quite dirty.

finally, i mixed it all up and tossed in a little bit of the nice olive oil and the chive vinegar.

were i not going to eat leftover blueberry muffin bread with the meal, i might have also made croutons, chopping up old bread (from the freezer) and sauteeing in olive oil with more spice blend (seriously, i don't love garlic or onion powder for most things, but it works really well on croutons) until slightly browned and toasty!

it was SO GOOD. so. good.

will i post more? freezer jam? maybe...

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