Saturday, June 23, 2012

Using up the Last of the Spring Veggies - June 23, 2012

This is an interesting time in our garden because things are changing from Spring to Summer growth and so we have a little bit of a lot of things.  We usually just harvest whatever we have into zip lock bags in the veggie drawer, but sometimes they start to go bad before we have enough of any one thing to make a meal.  One great solution for this is Spring Vegetable and Grain Salad.  It’s very healthy and can be adapted to whatever Spring veggies you have or whatever veggies and grains you like.  Here is the basic recipe and you can use this to adapt to your garden and taste.

Spring Vegetable and Grain Salad

1 chopped shallot
3 T chopped herbs (I used basil and thyme, but you could use parsley, oregano, etc.)
2 T. red wine vinegar
1/3 c. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 c. rice or other grain, cooked and cooled (I used Basmati, but brown rice or couscous would be great)
2 c. chopped Spring vegetables (I used snap peas, zucchini and corn, but radishes, beans, tomatoes, etc. would be great and I used asparagus and carrot ribbons last time)
¾ c. chopped leafy greens (I used lettuce and beet leaves, but any lettuce, shoots or small leaf greens are great)
1/3 c. chopped onion (I used green onions and chives)
2 T. pine nuts

Blend first three ingredients in blender and slowly add in the olive oil while blender is running.  Mix other ingredients and add dressing to taste.

OK, so now for the secret ingredient.  I love this salad and eat it all summer with everything because it changes with the harvest, but it is especially good with a small amount of really good cheese.  I add little pieces of a local cheese from Kenny's.  It is Barren County Blue which is fabulous with the fresh herbs in the salad.  But, too much is overpowering.

I also attended a food tasting at Oliva Bella in Lexington this week with my friends Mary and the two Alices, as well as my fabulous mother-in-law, Mary Ellen.  We had a wheatberry salad which was wonderful.  I'd like to see how it works with this.  I think I'll add a little sugar to the dressing plus some dried fruit. 

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