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Happy-Gourmand

Salad Days

by - Story: 20766


It seems I often get my best inspiration early in the mornings, and one of my favourite places to be at that time is in the garden. (Besides, it’s much cooler then!) As I was thinning carrots this week, I was inspired to try some new salad ideas and so I thought I would share those with you. When the heat strikes, I don’t have much patience with the oven so I think of things to eat at room temperature. We sit on the patio in the evening shade and reflect on the day, and having had salad for dinner, we can indulge in ice cream sundaes for dessert! (I’ll tell you more about that next week…)

I like to grow different kinds of vegetables in the garden, and one of my favourite things is vegetables of odd colours. They bring an exciting flair to a dish, and they are much easier to find when you are looking to pick them! We have orange cauliflower, purple beans, yellow cucumbers, and even zebra tomatoes. However, if you are more of a conventional gardener, use whatever colour combinations strike your fancy. Sometimes an all-green salad can be very elegant.

Another way to vary your salads is to include pickled vegetables and these can be easy to do. Beans and carrots make great pickles and pickling cucumbers can take all kinds of spices besides the regular pickling blend. One of my childhood favourites was always pickled beets, which I have now done with anise or cloves to add an extra zing. (If you want my recipe, please send an e-mail, as I am always happy to share!)

Here are a few combinations you might like to try that we have enjoyed in the last while:
  • Pickled beets with feta cheese and walnuts crumbled over top, then garnished with chopped parsley (you can substitute boiled beets and a bit of raspberry or balsamic vinegar) – drizzle with olive oil and voila!
  • Arugula leaves with canned tuna and sliced cucumbers and tomatoes – add sundried olives if you like them and a few shavings of parmesan or asiago cheese and serve with Dijon vinaigrette: ½ cup olive oil, ¼ cup red wine vinegar, minimum 2 tbsp Dijon mustard, one crushed clove of garlic, half of a medium size sliced red onion, salt and cracked black pepper
  • Sliced carrots and onions lightly sautéed in a pan with cumin seeds and served over spinach or swiss chard (or even beet greens!) with the following Simple Lemon Vinaigrette: ½ cup olive oil, 1 to 2 fresh squeeze lemons, and one green onion chopped up, (you can also substitute any fresh herbs like parsley, tarragon or basil for the cumin seeds if you want to use this recipe elsewhere)


Enjoy the bounty of your garden or the farmer’s market and be a part of the salad season. It reminds us all that life can be simple and relaxed. Toast your good health and enjoy the view of this beautiful place we live in. Cheers!


More Happy Gourmand articles

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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."

 

E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com

 



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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