I did so dang good on my diet Mon. and I had to share what we had for dinner. For one it was delicious, and secondly it was the first meal of the year out of my garden. It got rave review from everyone in the family except for Jake. He ended up eating the leftover lemon pasta from a previous post. Poor boy! One day I’ll get him to eat something good for him. Until then he will be my lean, mean, super skinny boy with 8 pack abs.
(Sorry! I think that is the worst picture I’ve taken. Someone ran off with my camera. Again, you sometimes have to use your imagination.)
Aren’t you so proud of my field greens, (aka lettuce). James was shocked to see that they were actually ready to eat. Lettuce in my garden is one of my favorite things. I’ve been told by a lot of folks that lettuce is just too hard to clean, and get all the bugs out of so they don’t bother. Well let me tell you all you need is a salad spinner and you are set. Put all the greens into a big sink full of cold water and swirl it around a bit. Place the lettuce into the spinner and it’s done. Dry and clean and ready to eat. I must say that a salad spinner is one of my favorite kitchen gadgets.
The salad is called the Everything Salad and really you can put about anything in it. It originally called for a green apple, a red apple, craisins, toasted nuts, and parmesan, but I think we’ve improved it. My mom made this salad on Sunday for the baby blessing, but she even improvised on the dressing. It was amazing. It was purple, and the salad had fresh blueberries, and mandarin oranges. My favorite is when I make it with pears and bleu cheese. But again I improvised and used what I had and then topped it with some salmon lovingly caught by James last fall. There is still plenty of time to plant lettuce in your garden or just in a pot outside your kitchen. It grows fast, and keeps going for weeks. I usually get sick of it before it bolts. If you cut it young, in a few day it will be ready for a haircut again. Just think of it….fresh salads whenever you want. It’s so good. Honestly there is nothing better than eating something you have sown.
The Everything Salad
1 lb. field greens (Sam’s Club is the cheapest place to buy if you didn’t grow your own.)
1 green apple chopped
1 red apple chopped
1 c. craisins
1/2 lb bacon crumbled
1 c. parmesan cheese
1 c. sliced almond
Toss everything together in a large bowl. If you have one of the Tupperware “That’s a bowl’s” use it. Make the dressing in advanced so it has time to cool.
1/2 c. vinegar
1/2 c. sugar
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
Bring these ingredients to a boil and let bubble for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add:
2 T. balsamic vinegar
3/4 c. oil
Mix together quickly with a wire whisk. It should emulsify and thicken up. Don’t place in a container while hot and shake to mix. I’ve done this and the lid explodes of the container and you will be covered in dressing from head to toe. Not a good idea.
Lisa’s variation: To the lettuce I added 1 lb. sliced fresh strawberries, bacon, goats cheese and sugar pecans. To make the sugar pecans place 1 c. chopped pecans in a dry fry pan with 1/4 c. sugar. Turn the heat up and let it sit until the sugar starts to melt and brown. Start stirring the nuts until all the sugar has melted. Pour the nuts out onto a greased plate and quickly sprinkle a little salt on top. I could eat the whole pan of these. You can do it with any kind of nut.
Another variation is with the bleu cheese crumbles and pears. Just add what you have. A fruit, a cheese, and some nuts. I’ll get my mom’s blueberry dressing recipe soon. It was really good.