Thursday, June 24, 2010

summer salad inspiration

I talked to my dad this morning about his burgeoning garden. The produce is starting to come in like a tidal wave, threatening to take over the counter tops, freezers, wheelbarrows, anything that can be filled with lettuce and spinach, broccoli and cauliflower, onions and peppers, and loads of blackberries. Soon to come will be garlic, tomatoes, snow peas, muskmelon and next year... asparagus. 

I wish I could run over to the backyard of my childhood, leaping over the peeling picket fence, and lie down in all that warm dirt and fragrant produce. I wish I could hike back through the freshly cut grass with him in the early evening light and pick a fresh salad and bowl of berries. I wish I could string up all that garlic and hang it from the timber rafters in my kitchen (I don't have timber rafters in my kitchen).

I can't do any of those things, but I love that way over there in the middle of the armpit of America, my dad is doing dirt work, following in the footsteps of man since the dawn of time, cultivating food from the earth. 

All this talk of lettuce and radishes, colorful sweet peppers and homemade cheese (hopefully in the next few days) is making me salad inspired. I keep running into them everywhere... pictures of leafy greens piled high with grapefruit and walnuts or goat cheese and cranberries... I can't even remember all the combinations but I know I want to try them ALL and summer is the perfect time to do so. 

I'm going to try a new salad combination as often as I can, with the available ingredients here in my seafood loving city, and see how long the inspiration lasts. If you know of any unique, favorite or summer-terrific salads... or food blogs, please share!


  1. Just did this one last night! (Frozen pitas available @ Metro!!)

    Greek Salad

    • 3 vine ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks
    • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
    • 1/2 European seedless cucumber, cut into bite-size chunks
    • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chunked
    • 1 small green bell pepper, seeded and chunked
    • 1 cubanelle pepper, seeded and chunked
    • 1 cup Kalamata black olives
    • Several sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, about 1/2 cup

    • 2 (1/4 pound) slices imported Greek feta
    • 1/4 cup (a couple of glugs) extra-virgin olive oil
    • 3 tablespoons (3 splashes) red wine vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed in palm of your hand
    • Coarse salt and black pepper
    • Pita breads
    Combine vegetables, olives, and parsley in a large bowl. Rest sliced feta on the top of salad. Combine oil, vinegar, and oregano in a small plastic container with a lid. Shake vigorously to combine oil and vinegar and pour over salad and cheese. Season with salt and pepper and let the salad marinate until ready to serve. Serve salad with pita bread blistered and warmed on a hot griddle or grill pan.

  2. looks lovely. I love greek anything! thanks for sharing that Jen.

  3. and I'm appreciating Metro more and more... just wish it was closer!

  4. I have been on a Chicken Ceasar Salad kick for a while, and loving the salads in this hot weather of Hong Kong. I have been loving simple tuna on salad, or cranberries and cheese and nuts, like you, what ever I can find and fits my budget.
    (been a lurker for a few months now and am loving your blog by the way!)

  5. hey!! I just had an AMAZING fruit and vegetable salad made by grandma! I'd NEVER had anything like it and she'd never made anything like it so we all had fun and I've probably never eaten a more fun/fiesta in my mouth! So delish! I've found a recipe online that is 'sort-of' like the recipe but grandma of course tweeked it to be her very own, using what was in her garden: blackberries, RASBERRIES (this gave it an amazing kick against the onion and peppers), pineapple, red and green bell pepper, onion, tomatoes, cucumber, etc...And she used a white wine vinegar dressing and added a raspberry dressing with it to make it a bit more tart...just try it out, I thought of you instantly when I ate this amazing salad! It looks weird but all the flavors mix wonderfully and it goes well with some chicken (or anything) out on the grill and couscous or rice...ENJOY

  6. My favorite food blogs are: