We are getting so many absolutely delicious vegetables right now. Though it is wonderful, it can definitely be quite overwhelming at times. Salad is one of the ideas that comes to mind and there are so many options to consider. Getting my kids to eat salads can be a bit of a bear at times. Here are two salads that I have been successful with and that my husband and I love as does company when they come. My son does prefer that you warm these up a little. I think part of what he doesn’t like about “salad” is the cold factor. Alas if they will eat it, I will warm it up. I have also learned to generally go a little lighter on the vinaigrettes and they tend to not notice that it is a “salad.” The following salad is different than the classic mayonnaise potato salad but a big hit with everyone.
Lemon Basil Potato Salad (Southern Living magazine)
2.5 pounds small potatoes, cut into eighths
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2/3 cup olive oil
1/2 medium purple onion, chopped
10 thick bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
10 ounces spinach, cut into strips
Arrange potatoes evenly on cookie sheet. Toss in olive oil. Bake at 475 degrees for 20-25 minutes until tender and golden.
Whisk together lemon juice, garlic, basil, mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk in olive oil in slow stream. Gently toss potato and onion with 1/2 cup vinaigrette. Arrange spinach in bowls, drizzle with vinaigrette. Top with potato mixture. Sprinkle with bacon.
This next salad takes advantage of something in abundance right now, not through the CSA but at the Farmers Market…corn. My husband got me a book several years ago with main and side dish salads. The book has been indispensable. For the most part, the recipes call for things I normally have on hand and so far they have all been delicious. This salad is also popular with my children.
Fresh Corn Salad (from Raising the Salad Bar)
Kernels from 6 ears of fresh corn
1 tomato, seeded and diced
1 firm but ripe avocado, diced
2 scallions, thinly sliced or 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1/4 chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon freshly minced garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
In a large serving bowl, remove corn kernels. Combine with the tomato, avocado and scallions. To make the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients. Combine the dressing with the salad and gently mix. Garnish with chopped cilantro
Sometimes I am not out to please the family but simply to enjoy the fresh produce at hand. That would be the case for the recipe. My husband and I end up eating this for dinner probably twice a week when heirloom tomatoes are at their peak. My kids don’t understand why would would dream of eating this but I LOVE it. It is adapted from a recipe I found in Gourmet magazine years ago. When I first made it, I’d never had heirloom tomatoes and didn’t appreciate how wonderful this dish is. Now I love all of the colors and textures combining together. I believe the original recipe called for bleu cheese but I am not a fan so have changed it to what I enjoy and can find at the Holland Farmers market.
Heirloom Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese
8 1/2inch thich slices of good crusty bread
4 large garlic cloves, halved
3 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup currant, grape, cherry or pear tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped green onions
10 medium heirloom tomatoes cored, thinly sliced
1 small onion, sliced paper thin
3 celery stalks, sliced thin on diagonal
1.5 cups crumbled goat cheese
Prepare grill to medium high. Rub bread with garlic and brush with 3 tablespoons olive oil. I have been known to do the previous step in a hot frying pan. Maybe not the same but quick and tasty regardless. Combine remaining 1/3 cup olive oil, currant tomatoes and green onions in medium bowl. Toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Overlap tomato slices in circles on platter, alternating colors. Scatter onion and celery slices over tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spoon tomato and green onion mixture over top. Sprinkle with cheese. Grill bread or use frying pan, two minutes per side. Pile salad on bread and enjoy the yummy messiness!
As always when I have ingredients that I don’t know what to do with, I end up trying epicurious.com. They did not let me down with this delicious cabbage soup recipe that is a hit with the entire family. The original recipe has a lemon creme fraiche topping but we do not do the topping. We just stick with the soup itself so if you think the soup would benefit from a lemon creme fraiche topping, just look it up on epicurious.com. At this point in August, I am not in the mood for a heavy thick soup but I freeze this and then can thaw it in January when I am most assuredly in the mood for this soup. Because of this, the soup doesn’t usually have the garnish of sauteed cabbage but we enjoy it nonetheless. Pair it with some nice crusty bread and lunch is served.
Potato, Cabbage, Leek Soup (from Bon Appetit)
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
6 cups diced green cabbage (from about 1/2 of medium head or a whole small head)
3 cups chopped leeks (white and pale green only, 3-4 large)
3 garlic cloves, pressed
3 cups 1/2 inch cubed, peeled potatoes (about 1.25 pounds)
1 2×2 piece Parmesan rind (optional)
1 turkish bay leaf
6 cups (or more) chicken or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, for garnish
Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add cabbage, sprinkle lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper and saute until cabbage is almost tender but not brown, 6-8 minutes. Using slotted spoon transfer 1 cup cabbage to small bowl and reserve for garnish.
Add 1 tablespoon butter to pot with cabbage, add leeks and garlic. Saute over medium heat until leeks soften slightly, about 3 minutes. Stir in potatoes, Parmesan rind if desired and bay leaf. Add 6 cups broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until all vegetables are tender, 20-25 minutes. Discard Parmesan rind, if using, and bay leaf. Let soup cool. If pureeing while still warm, remember to have the center piece out of the top of the blender and hold a kitchen towel over that opening so steam can escape but not the delicious soup. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return puree to pot. Simmer until heated through, adding more broth by 1/4 cupfuls to thin soup to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle into bowls and garnish with reserved cabbage and chives.
Though this is definitely a heartier meal, it fits right in with the produce we are receiving right now–zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, peppers and onions. My kids don not appreciate this wonderful recipe but everyone else I have served it to does.
Ratatouille and Sausage Pot Pit with Cornmeal Biscuits (from the New York Times)
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons sugar
1.5 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons butter in 1/2 inch chunks
3/4 cup sour cream or yogurt
1 large eggplant, cut into 1 inch chunks
3 small zucchini, cut into 1 inch chunks
7 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup chopped parsley or basil
3/4 pound Italian sausage
1 large onion, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 red/yellow/orange or purple sweet pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1.5 pounds tomatoes
4 sprigs thyme
Biscuits-whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using fork, cut in butter until resembles coarse crumbs. Fold in sour cream. Knead until comes together in a ball adding drop or two of milk if necessary. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.
Ratatouille-Toss eggplant and zucchini with 5 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with 3/4 teaspoons salt and 3/4 teaspoons pepper. Spread veggies on baking sheet. Don’t crowd them. Roast, tossing occasionally until golden, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a deep saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Crumble sausage and cook over medium until done, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan. Saute onion, pepper, garlic and 1/4 teaspoon garlic until soft, 5-7 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and thyme. Simmer until tomatoes are cooked and stew-like, about 10 minutes. Stir in sausage, roasted vegetable and parsley. Pour mixture into oven safe dish. Divide dough into 6 balls. Squash into disks (1/2 inch thick). Arrange on top of ratatouille. Brush biscuits with milk. Bake in oven 25-30 minutes.
One more idea for those peppers and eggplants. This is quick, easy and delicious.
Grilled Sweet Peppers and Eggplant
2 sweet peppers, cut into wedges
1 eggplant, 1/2 inch slices
3 tablespoons olive oil plus more for tossing with peppers and eggplant
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
1/2 cup feta/goat cheese, crumbled
salt and pepper
Preheat grill. Toss peppers and eggplant with olive oil. Grill about 8-10 minutes. Arrange on a platter. Combine 3 tablespoons olive oil, red wine vinegar and oregano. Pour over peppers and eggplant slices. Crumble goat cheese over veggies. Season with salt and pepper to taste.