Lisa’s Kitchen: Summer Salads
Summer means salad season! Lisa King serves up fresh combinations for amazing salads.
The early summertime is salad season. All of the fresh greens and vegetables coming in on the farm are perfect for creating healthy and delicious meals. A salad is light, but also filling. That’s important this time of year. It’s getting hot out and it’s time to get outside and get active. Salad digests quickly and will give you lots of energy but it won’t weigh you down. It also packs a great nutritional punch!
One great tip for enjoying farm fresh salads is to use the vegetables to create the flavor, instead of overloading on dressings. Years ago I used to pile on bacon, cheese, and heavy dressings. Lately I’ve learned that less is best. These salads taste great naked. You want to experience the flavor of the arugula and the goat cheese. Don’t overdo it. When you are eating fresh picked, locally grown greens, they will be much more flavorful. Different varieties of greens have different textures and tastes, and you don’t want to lose that by smothering them in dressing. Don’t drench your plate in corn syrup sweetened salad dressing. A good way to dress a salad is to pour some on the side, and dip the tip of your fork into your salad. Create a balance of flavor. Take the time to appreciate the way the components of the salad complement each other. That’s a beautiful way to approach a beautiful meal.
Finally, think outside the box with your salads. What’s wrong with eating a salad for breakfast? So many people wake up and juice every morning. Instead, try a breakfast salad. You can add Freedom Farms bacon and hard boiled free range eggs. It’s a great way to start the day. Are you entertaining? Serve a salad bar! Each week we get together to eat as a family, and this time of year a salad buffet is their favorite meal. I’ll add chicken, homemade croutons, bacon, cheese, and nuts, along with a huge variety of sliced veggies.
As always, I encourage you to improvise. Add your favorite ingredient, celebrate the best of the season, and savor the beautiful salads you create. Then, send us a picture and a recipe. We’d love to hear from you!
I believe when I was in New York I ate at an Italian restaurant that very much impressed me.. Everything was very light and all the components went together beautifully. As much as I enjoyed it, I didn’t remember the Italian portions. In back of my mind I only remembered goat cheese and arugula. I just love beets and all the benefits that come with them.
Series Subtitle #1: Arugula and Fried Goat Cheese Salad
I love arugula and goat cheese. The combination of crispy, warm goat cheese and spicy arugula is delicious. This salad is light, and the flavors pair beautifully. A great dressing for this salad is Annie’s Goddess Dressing, which we carry at the the Freedom Farms Farmers Market. This salad is also a wonderful way to enjoy early summer beets. Make sure you check out my recipe for Easy Pickled Beets on our Freedom Farms blog!
You will need:
2 c arugula
1 pickled beet; sliced thin
¼ red onion; sliced thin
¼ zucchini; sliced thin
4 oz goat cheese
½ c vegetable oil
⅛ c cashews
Annie’s Goddess Dressing
First, put vegetable oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat on the stove top.
Separate the egg yolk from egg white and set aside. Meanwhile, form goat cheese into a round 2-3 inch diameter and a ¼ inch thick. Chill the goat cheese coins for 5-10 minutes in the refrigerator. Then, dip them into egg white and lightly press them into bread crumbs.
By this time the oil should have heated to temperature. Place each one in the oil for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown flip each and repeat. Set the patties on a paper towel to remove excess oil.
Assemble salad, place goat cheese patties on top, and dress salad.
Series Subtitle #2: Strawberry and Spinach Salad
Spinach is outstanding right now, and obviously we have the best strawberries around at Freedom Farms. This salad combines the sweetness of strawberries and sugar snap peas with the freshness of spinach, cucumber, and kohlrabi. The combination is awesome. Remember, less is more. Don’t overdo the berries. Our strawberries have not been picked unripe and gassed, they are fresh picked and bursting with flavor. We carry an amazing Blueberry Balsamic Vinaigrette at the Freedom Farms Farmers Market. Use it, but go very light on the dressing, because there is so much flavor in this salad.
You will need:
2 c spinach
4 strawberries; destemmed, sliced thin
½ cucumber; sliced thin
1 kohlrabi; peeled, julienned
¼ c sugar snap peas; destemmed, sliced thin
Woodside Kitchen Blueberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
Use prepped vegetables to assemble salad.
Series Subtitle #3: Sweet Potato Slaw Salad
This is just a happy slaw. It’s crisp, fresh, and the ingredients all complement each other. A lot of times people have a garden full of cabbage and radishes and don’t know what to do with them. This is a great way to use up your cabbages. You can use red cabbage, green cabbage, or a combination of both. This slaw is a great pick-me-up during the day. It’s low in calories and a great source of fiber. You can eat it as a salad, use it as a side dish, put it on a sandwich – or even put it on top of some greasy fries.
You will need:
½ sweet potato; peeled, sliced thin
1 cabbage; sliced thin
½ onion; chopped
3 radishes; sliced thin
1 tbsp cilantro; de stemmed, chopped
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ tsp horseradish
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp lime juice
Preheat oven to broil at 500℉.
In a bowl, mix mayonnaise, horseradish, brown sugar, and lime juice. Toss cabbage, onion, and cilantro with dressing and set aside.
Take a baking sheet and line sweet potato slices in a single layer on sheet. Drizzle olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Place in the oven and broil sweet potatoes until golden brown, cooked through, but not quite crispy.
Place sweet potatoes and radishes on serving plate first. Then, pile coleslaw on top. Add additional cilantro for presentation.