I made this watermelon feta arugula salad ages ago. Like before my Europe trip, so-long-ago-I forgot-about-it ages ago. At the time, it was pretty appropriate to be adding produce like watermelon and radishes to salad. Now it’s almost October and we have already had snow. Ingredients like pumpkin and squash are taking over. But heck, you can still find what you need to make it, and frankly, it’s the type of thing I have been eating a lot of lately.
When you get back from a vacation of eating and come home to a job that largely involves eating, you really don’t want to do any more eating at home. Actual meals tend to go out the window but when they do happen, all I want to eat is salad, salad, salad. Maybe a smoothie or two thrown in there but that’s about it. I need those sorts of things to re-energize me so I can go back to eating whatever else I have to (and love to) eat without feeling like a fat slob. It’s all about balance right? Knock that balance out of whack and your whole body just feels gross. And nobody wants to purposefully make themselves feel gross.
Ok now I am rambling, that’s my cue to go. In fact, I am probably going to go make some salad for lunch. Fancy that.
First things first, get some garlic scapes on the grill for the vinaigrette. Cook them for a couple minutes on each side, until charred and tender. Finely chop and set aside for the vinaigrette.
To make the rest of the vinaigrette, whisk together the mustard and honey. Whisk in the balsamic vinegar before gradually whisking in both types of oil (if you cannot find Camelina oil feel free to use straight olive oil). Finally add in the chopped grilled garlic scales and season with salt and pepper to taste.
To assemble the salad, dress the arugula with your vinaigrette and portion it into 4 bowls or plates of your choice. Divide the chopped olives equally amongst the 4 servings. Add to each about 1 tbsp. feta, 2 tbsp. watermelon and 5-7 slices of thinly sliced radish. Enjoy.
Farro is up there as one of my favourite grains. For those of you who have never tried it, it’s similar to barley with its roasty toasty flavour and pleasantly chewy texture. I don’t know, I can just eat the stuff up. The only downside is that it takes a long time to cook, so if you want it, you better plan in advance. In this recipe I tossed it with a myriad of grilled broccoli, squash and radishes (same as I used in my miso grilled veg), to make a farro and grilled vegetable salad of sorts. The dressing is a combination of almond butter, coconut cream and vinegar to thin everything out. It makes for an awesomely creamy vegan salad dressing. Everything about this salad is awesome actually. How can you go wrong with hearty grains and veg on dinner on a summer evening? Exactly, you can’t.
2 tbsp. coconut cream (the solid stuff skimmed off of the top of a can of coconut milk)
2 tbsp. almond butter
2-3 tbsp. white wine vinegar
2 garlic scapes, grilled and finely diced
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup uncooked farro
2 cups vegetable stock
2-3 cups grilled vegetables, chopped (I used broccoli, radishes and yellow zucchini)
Combine the farro and vegetable stock in a medium pot over high heat. Bring it to a boil, turn it down to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the farro is as tender as you want it to be. Drain off any excess liquid if it is not absorbed by the farro.
To make the dressing, blend together the coconut cream and almond butter until smooth. Whisk in the white wine vinegar to taste, add the chopped garlic scapes and season with salt and pepper.
In a medium to large bowl, mix together the cooked farro, dressing and chopped grilled vegetables of your choice. Taste again for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if necessary and serve. The salad is great made ahead of time and makes for an excellent lunch throughout the week!
There is nothing I love more than throwing a cornucopia of vegetables on the grill and charring the hell outta them. It’s probably a carcinogenous habit, no doubt. The problem is, the finished product – smoky, blackened vegetables – are way too delicious to give up. Toss them in a combination of different condiments, oils, vinegars and the like, and it’s the closest vegetables will get to tasting like crack (not that I would know – come to think of it, that is actually an awful expression. What does crack taste like? Do people actually eat it? Clearly I am not up on the different methods of getting drugs into your system).
Anyways, my go-to seasoning for grilled vegetables usually involves a melange of hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil and sriracha. I wanted to switch things up a bit by bringing miso to the party. See overall the key with these miso grilled vegetables, or any grilled veg for that matter, is getting the balance of sweet, salty, sour and spicy down pat. In order to determine this, you have to taste. If they need more salt, add more miso. More acidity? Add an extra squeeze of lemon. Maybe even some lemon zest would work nicely for sweetness. Get the point? There are no hard and fast rules.
Actually there is one rule that you should probably stick to. When dealing with ANY funky, cabbage-y, radish-y vegetables, get that garbage out of your house as fast as humanly possible. And not just out of the kitchen, out of the house altogether. The sulphurous stench of decomposing radishes is just too much for this nose to tolerate. Seriously, it was so bad that when I woke up for my run the next morning, the entire garage reeked of the odour. I ending up having to take the bag with me on my way to work, stealthily depositing it in a garbage well beyond the vicinity of my olfactory system. Did that kill your appetite? I’m sorry, I promise that the taste of these miso grilled vegetables are 300% worth the potential for negative aromatic putrid consequences. Let’s grill, shall we?
3-4 cups grilled vegetables, chopped (I used broccoli, radishes and yellow zucchini)
Grill off the vegetables of your choice until they are nice and charred.
Once they are cooked, chop them up and throw them in a medium sized bowl.
Add in the miso, sesame oil and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Also, feel free to add more of any of the 3 ingredients mentioned above if you think it needs more salt or acidity. Taste, taste, taste!
I really don’t have much to say about this Greek quinoa salad, other than the fact that it is delicious, super easy to make and you should definitely make a batch as soon as you get the chance. How’s that for short and to the point? Now if you don’t mind me, I am going to go enjoy the weather before it starts to snow again!
Before you start whining about the fact that I bring you yet another salad recipe, hear me out (and believe me, when you consider the number of salads I eat on a weekly basis, I hardly end up actually writing about ANY of them). This English garden salad is special, inspired by Lavender and Lovage for this month’s Secret Recipe Club. When you visit Karen’s blog, you will probably wonder why I chose a salad of all things. Why not tortellini pasta bake with sun-dried tomato pesto, or apple blackberry pie? Don’t get me wrong, all of her recipes look fabulous, but there was something about Karen’s English garden salad that spoke to me. Yes, through my computer screen I could hear it talking. It inspired me to break out of my boring salad routine and do something different. Never had I heard of the “salad cream” before so I did my own interpretation by creating a creamy yogurt and beet vinegar dressing. I couldn’t leave the eggs alone either so I pickled them in beet vinegar too. I deconstructed it and then reconstructed it until I ended up with a very pink plate that is hardly reminiscent of the original recipe. Oops. Let’s just call it my take on an English garden salad and leave it at that. English or not, it tasted good enough for any country to want to take credit for.
1 egg, boiled (for 12 minutes) and soaked in pickled beet liquid overnight, cut into 6 wedges
6 thin rings of orange bell pepper
2 tbsp. yogurt
½ tbsp. dijon mustard
2 tbsp. vinegar (I used pickled beet liquid)
salt and pepper, to taste
The key to this salad is really just arranging the ingredients however you think looks pretty. The colours are beautiful to begin with so just find the best way to show them off. Once you have arranged your vegetables and egg the way you like, mix together the yogurt, mustard, and vinegar, add salt and pepper as needed and drizzle it over the top. Voila! Time to eat!
You can use the liquid from store-bought pickled beets or make your own. I make quick-pickled beets simply by pouring hot vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and a splash of water over julienned beets. Almost instantaneously you are left with a bright fuchsia liquid, perfect for pickling eggs or adding to your salad dressing.