Salad Sunday

Hello, my name is Casey, and I’m a fruit and vegetable nerd.

If you know me at all, you know that I squeal at the site of fresh peaches, love spending an afternoon shucking corn, and would be a vegetarian if it weren’t for bacon and Skyline chili. Even after working at farmers markets in Harlem and South Williamsburg during the week, I still want to spend my weekend wandering along the 79th Street Greenmarket near my house, followed by an afternoon of recipe browsing and cooking. I simply can’t help myself!

When I’m in a rush I usually just chop up whatever veg is left in the fridge, and toss it with some oil and lemon juice, or sauté it quickly to pair with rice or quinoa. Today, I decided to go by the book and follow a recipe from some beautiful, but rarely used cookbooks on my bookshelf. If you enjoy fruits and vegetables as much as I do, and like getting invested in scratch cooking and canning I highly recommend these books.

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Here are two simple salads using the most seasonal farmers market finds. 

Super-fast Thai Cucumber Salad from Jam it, Pickle it, Cure it

  • 2 regular cucumbers, peeled, seeded, thinly sliced- I left the skins on for all that fibra (that’s fiber for all you gringos)!
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp. sugar & 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar

Toss ingredients together, let sit for 30 minutes, enjoy! I munched on this crunchy salad immediately, but I plan to serve it up alongside Asian style tacos, or add black beans and rice for a complete-meal cold salad.

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Beets and Goat Cheese Salad from The Produce Bible

Dressing

  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • recipe calls for capers, I did without!
  • Add all ingredients, plus salt and black pepper, to a screwtop jar and start shaking away! Undoubtedly the easist way to mix and enjoy homemade dressings.
  • 2/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 cups green beans
  • 4 beets, with leaves- I used purple beets and threw in some beautiful, striped candy cane beets

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How to

Scrub beet roots well and simmer in large saucepan of boiling water, covered, for 30 minutes or until tender. For the leaves, gently run under water, then cook for 3-5 minutes in pot of boiling water until tender. Drain boiled beet roots and leaves, and cut into bite-sized pieces.

Add the beans to a boiling pot of water and cook for 3 minutes or until tender. Remove beans and preserve their bright green color by plunging into a cold water bath for one minute.

Once the veg is cooked to your liking, toss with dressing and crumbled goat cheese for a slightly sweet, but tangy side dish that even beet haters will fall in love with (like me!).

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