Salads!

Last week I highlighted some salad dressings, this week I’m talking about salads.

We’ve been enjoying lots of great fresh greens this spring from River to River farm.  Along with a variety of cooking greens, we are finding all sorts of new lettuce varieties to enjoy.  In particular, the Forellenschluss variety – a type of romaine- has been great!  We have heard of people using this lettuce for wraps.  We have also been introduced to the  Bronze Arrowhead variety.  This is a very light lettuce – we have put it on many a salad lately.

Speaking of salads, here are a few salad recipes we been enjoying over the past few weeks.  First, know that it is important to wash your lettuce.  If you get them from a market or the store (or even your own garden)- it is important to wash the leaves.  We take each leaf off one by one & place them in a salad spinner.  Add some cold water & stir the leaves with your hand.  Then use the strainer to clear out the water.  I do a second wash the same way.  Then use the spinner to spin the leaves dry.

Salad with seeds & nuts:
Base of lettuce
Toast some pumpkin seeds, pecans, & raisins in a dry fry pan for a few minutes to bring out the flavor (the raisins should puff up, they’ll deflate once they cool down).
Put some cilantro on top to add some depth of flavor.
Add a dressing of your choosing.  I recommend a simple balsamic vinegar/olive oil mixture.  But, I have also really enjoyed the Gaba Gaba dressing from the salad dressings post.

Salad with strawberries:
It is strawberry season here – we’ve found these are great on salads.
Pretty simple – clean the lettuce with the instructions above, wash & slice some strawberries.  Add the dressing of your choosing.

Salad with mango, avocado lime, cilantro, and paprika:
While the mangoes are not at all local… they are in season!
image_4
We buy ours from a local international food store by the case during this season.  While we eat a great number of them, we also cut some up and freeze them for later when they won’t be in season.
However, for this salad – again a bed of lettuce, add some cilantro, mango chunks, avocado (we didn’t have any when we made it), and then sprinkle lime juice and paprika on top.  We also added some fresh ground salt & pepper to this salad.

To help you cut your mango – here is a quick tutorial.
Along the middle of the mango is a long seed/pit.  You will want to not cut through it.  Make two cuts along the long/narrow side of the mango.  With your two ‘halves’ – first cut a grid pattern like so:
image

Then you flip the mango out and you get these funny looking nub-spikes!
image_1

Easy to cut off into chunks.  Get the rest of the meat off of the middle piece of the mango (the part surrounding the pit).  As a reminder, mango skin is not good for humans to eat.

What salads have you been making lately? Any favorite recipes? 

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