Posts Tagged ‘salad’

Urban Farming: Mixed green salad

One of the great things about living in this area is that we can garden most of the year. We have several varieties of lettuce in the garden right now, along with spinach, bok choy and cool-weather herbs like parsley and cilantro. The romaine, red leaf lettuce and green leaf lettuce are growing beautifully and are ready to eat.

Romaine lettuce
Romaine lettuce

Slugs appear to be attacking the bok choy, though. Dan dusted them with diatomaceous earth, a natural pest control method. It’s the fossilized remains of a type of algae called diatoms available in garden centers as a fine powder; it has tiny sharp edges that irritate the soft tissues of slugs and so, when sprinkled around plants, deters them from moving close enough to eat them.

Bok choy sprinkled with diatomaceous earth
Bok choy sprinkled with diatomaceous earth

So we’re hoping they come back. In the meantime, we’re enjoying a mixed green salad with our baked rockfish tonight.

Fruit Salad with Fig-Vanilla Balsamic Vinaigrette

I’m entering this recipe in a contest the Virginian-Pilot, our local newspaper is having – they’re looking for recipes that use fresh, tasty strawberries, since they’re in season now.

Last year, I visited my sister and her family in Temecula, Calif., and we went to The Temecula Olive Oil Company for an olive-oil tasting. They also had flavored balsamic vinegars for tasting, and as soon as I tried this fig-vanilla balsamic, I knew I had to have some.

After we got back home, I made up this recipe, and it’s wonderful, if I do say so myself. My mint is bursting out now, too, so it’s definitely time to make it again.

Fruit Salad with Fig-Vanilla Balsamic Vinaigrette
Serves 2

1/2 cup hulled and quartered strawberries
1/2 cup diced cantaloupe
4 California Mission figs, sliced
1/2 cup diced feta cheese
1 tbsp. fig-vanilla balsamic vinegar, or regular balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. fruity extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp. chopped fresh mint, plus 2 sprigs for garnish
3 cups chopped or torn romaine lettuce

Combine fruit and cheese in a medium bowl. Place vinegar in a small bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Whisking constantly, drizzle EVOO into the bowl. Stir mint into dressing. Pour the dressing over the fruit and cheese and let stand 10 minutes. Divide romaine between two salad plates and serve fruit and cheese mixture over romaine. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

Fruit salad with fig-vanilla balsamic vinaigrette

Photo Friday: Homemade

We grew a nice variety of lettuces in the garden last spring, and most of them did very nicely. We had salad from the garden regularly all spring and into the summer.

This is a composed salad I made one day last summer. Since the high is supposed to be about 42*F today, I’m hoping the thought of a cool salad on a hot day might warm me up. If not, I’ll make some hot chocolate.

Photo Friday: Homemade

This is for Photo Friday’s weekly photo challenge. This week’s topic is Homemade.

GYO: Spicy Chinese Cucumber Salad

grow_your_own_logo-2009-bldgAs you can see, we have lots of really big cucumbers coming in right now, so I’ve been looking for new recipes to use them in. I came across this “Spicy Chinese Cucumber Salad” recipe that sounded really good and decided to try it. Delish!

It could use a bit more seasoning, but we liked it. Dan was worried it would be too vinegary, because I *love* vinegar-soaked cucumbers, but this had only a few tablespoons of rice vinegar, which is less acidic than the white vinegar I usually use, and other ingredients as well. It turned out very good, but I think I will double the chili-garlic sauce next time.

Spicy Chinese Cucumber Salad

1 large cucumber
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp rice vinegar, to taste
2 tsp sesame oil, to taste
2 tsp sugar, to taste
2 tsp soy sauce, to taste
1/2 tbsp chili paste, to taste (optional)
2 tsp sesame seeds, toasted

Wash and then peel the cucumber skins in alternating stripes (or peel completely or not at all). Slice the cucumbers in half lengthwise and scoop the seeds and pulp out with a spoon. Slice the cucumbers into 1/4-inch pieces. Sprinkle the cucumber slices with the salt and toss to coat evenly. Cover and place in refrigerator for an hour.

After an hour, squeeze the cucumber slices of as much liquid as possible with your hand. In a medium bowl, combine the cucumber with the rice vinegar, sesame oil, and sugar. Add a little soy sauce and mix the salad. Taste and add more soy sauce until you reach the desired saltiness. Stir in the chili paste and serve cold; it will taste even better if you let it marinate overnight in the fridge. Just before serving, sprinkle with sesame seeds



This is my contribution to Grow Your Own, the food blogging event that celebrates growing and preparing our own food. It was originated by Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes and is hosted this time by Graziana from Erbe in Cucina (Cooking with Herbs). The roundup of all the tasty recipes is here.

GYO: Potato Salad with Peas and Peppers

grow_your_own_logo-2009-bldgThis is one of my favorite potato salads to make – it’s delicious and good for you, and one of the main ingredients came from our own garden: the peas.

Ever since we started a vegetable garden many years ago, we’ve been growing peas. Dan especially likes them – in fact, he’ll eat them raw right out of the garden! But this year, they were especially prolific, so he got some, I got some, and there’s lots more in the freezer for later 🙂 We planted both snow peas and sugar snap peas this year, and they both did great.

Peas in the garden

So to go along with a grilled dinner, I made this potato salad with peas and roasted red peppers, a take on this recipe from Rachael Ray. I changed the dressing for this one, and it was excellent 🙂

Potato Salad with Peas and Peppers

2 1/2 pounds white thin skin potatoes, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 tbsp. snipped chives
1/4 cup chopped parsley, plus 2 tbsp.
Salt and pepper

1 (6-ounce) jar, roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
1 cup frozen sweet peas

Put potatoes into the cold water and bring to a boil, sprinkle with 2 tsp. salt, and boil for 10-12 minutes or until tender; drain. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, celery, herbs, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Put drained potatoes into a large bowl and sprinkle with vinegar. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then carefully mix in the dressing. Add the peppers and peas and mix, being careful not to break up potatoes. Chill until ready to serve; garnish with reserved parsley.


This is my contribution to Grow Your Own, the food blogging event that celebrates growing and eating our own food. It was created by Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes and is hosted this month by Zora of gardenopolis.

Chinese Starry Noodles

I wanted a nice, healthy side dish for grilled tuna and scallops, and put together this delicious noodle dish with some of the dozens (it seems like) Asian condiments in my refrigerator. Good stuff.

Chinese Starry Noodles

1/2 lb. spaghetti

1 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. oyster sauce
1 tbsp. dry sherry
1 tsp. chile puree with garlic
1/8 tsp. ground star anise
1/8 tsp. cinnamon

1 tbsp. canola or peanut oil
1/2 cup each red and green pepper and onion, thinly sliced and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large or two small cloves of garlic, minced (about 1 tbsp.)
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
sliced green or red pepper and 1 whole star anise, for garnish

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; boil spaghetti 8-10 minutes or until al dente. Combine soy and oyster sauces, sherry, chile puree, star anise and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside. Heat oil in a large skillet and lightly saute peppers, onion, garlic and ginger. Set aside to cool.

Drain spaghetti and rinse with cool water. Place in a large bowl and combine with the sauce. Mix in vegetables and pour into a serving dish. Garnish with pepper and star anise. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.


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February 2018
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