Salad Days of Summer

by Anouk Booneman

The salad days are back! Not that you can’t eat salads year round, but salads are typically associated with the hot days of summer, when you want to spend as little time in the kitchen as possible. Believe me, after months of breakfasts, lunch and dinners I want to minimize my time in the kitchen. We are still eating storage crops, but greens have started to take over. My onions have decided en masse to grow long green sprouts. Those are safe to eat, but I composted most of them because it’s June and I am DONE with the storage crops.

The Denison Farm CSA pick up will start next week. I mentioned CSAs (community supported agriculture) in a previous post. It looks like they have become really popular in our area this year. The Denison Farm is filled for the year and so is the Feather Bed Lane farm. The Feather Bed Lane farm might still have some abundance share left for the summer. When produce is bountiful in the summer, there are some possibilities to buy produce from them on a weekly basis. Give them a call if you are interested in those.

Local farmers’ markets are a great source for diverse produce, of course, as are farm stands. When I scroll through my Facebook feed, it also seems that a lot of people have started a vegetable garden as well. This time of the year it’s really easy to increase your vegetable intake.

I love to make and eat salads. They are healthy, satisfying, delicious easy to prepare and can be made from anything and everything (really!).

The next few weeks will bring a lot of greens at the farmers’ market and in your CSA box if you have one. Nothing beats those freshly picked delicate salad leaves and the more robust greens.

I have three easy recipes for this month. The first one is the Every-Leafy-Green-You-Can Find salad from the book Saladish from Ilene Rosen. It has an orange marmalade dressing that I haven’t tried yet, but that sounds absolutely delicious. Not making your own dressings is one of my pet peeves. Salad dressings are incredibly easy to make. They can be made in large quantities and will keep a long time. I have several jars in my fridge made with leftover mustards, garlic, oils and vinegars. When I get to the end of a mustard jar I add a good quality oil, an acid (vinegar, lemon juice, orange juice) herbs, garlic and I have a new dressing.

The second and third recipes are salad toppings. Toppings can transform your salad from a good salad to a great salad. I used my toppings on top of the last storage crops but will definitely continue to use those on the more summery vegetables that are coming my way.

Stay safe venturing back into the world and enjoy the bounty that this area is bringing us.


Every-Leafy-Green-You-Can-Find-Salad

(from Saladish, Ilene Rosen with Donna Gelb)

Serves 4

Ingredients

Orange marmalade dressing

2 teaspoons orange marmalade (I have a lot of lemon marmalade that I will use instead)

1 TBSP fresh lemon juice

3 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

1 head of oak leaf lettuce or other tender lettuce separated into leaves, washed and dried.

2 ounces mixed young greens (mustard greens, arugula, mizuna, kale, tatsoi )

1/4 cup fresh chives

1/4 cup loosely packed fresh small dill sprigs

Feel free to swap with other herbs. This will work with parsley, scallion greens, cilantro

Preparation

Make the dressing: Whisk together the marmalade, lemon juice, and olive oil in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper

Toss the lettuce leaves and mixed greens together with the chives and dill in a salad bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Maple Orange Tempeh Nibbles

(from Salad Samurai by Terry Hope Romero)

1 teaspoon sriracha

1 TBSP peanut oil or olive oil

8 ounces of tempeh (I steam my tempeh for ten minutes before using it to remove the bitterness)

1/2 cup freshly squeezed or store bought orange juice

2 TBSP soy sauce ( you can also use gluten free Tamari sauce or soy free coconut aminos)

2 TBSP pure maple syrup

Dice the tempeh into 1/2 inch cubes. In a small bowl whisk together the orange juice, soy sauce, maple syrup and sriracha

Heat the oil in skillet over medium heat. Add tempeh and spread into a single layer in the pan. Fry for 3 minutes, occasionally flipping the cubes with a spatula to brown all the sides. Pour the marinade over the tempeh and simmer for 4 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally until the marinade has been absorbed and the cubes are coated in a rich glaze. Scatter the cubes warm or at room temperature over a salad or other dish. Eat within two days (which will not be a problem)


Tempeh Bacon Bites

(This recipe can use a can of cooked chickpeas instead of the tempeh)

(from Salad Samurai by Terry Hope Romero)

Ingredients

8 ounces of tempeh (or one can of chickpeas)

2 TBSP pure maple syrup

2 TBSP tamari ( or soy sauce or coconut aminos)

1 TBSP ketchup (I used tomato paste instead)

1 TBSP vegetable oil

1/2 tsp liquid smoke

olive oil for pan frying

Slice the tempeh into 1/2 inch strips. Stack a few strips at the time and slice the tempeh into bite size pieces about 1 inch long.

In a ceramic or metal baking dish, whisk together the remaining ingredients until smooth. Add the tempeh bits and gently coat with marinade. Let stand for ten minutes or cover and chill overnight.

Use a fork to transfer the tempeh pieces (leaving the marinade behind) to an oiled skillet preheated over medium heat. Lay the pieces in a single layer and if desired, spritz with a little cooking spray. Cook until well browned on one side, flip and cook the other side until browned on both sides. Pour the marinade over the tempeh and simmer until the marinade is absorbed. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature. Consume within two days. For my salad I left the tempeh in strips.


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