These hot summer days have me craving for refreshing all-in-one-meal salads! That’s because, for one, I don’t feel like cooking much when it’s hot (!) and also because salads are a great way to incorporate all these fresh veggies I get from my CSA basket (Community Supported Agriculture) filled with fresh-picked produce every week!
I mean…seriously…take a look at this GORGEOUS PRODUCE-WOW!!
I just love to create new salad recipes as I go, guided only by what’s best that week! So, if you are with me, let me share my latest creations and also bring back old favorites so that you too can make good use of your local fresh summer harvest!
I also make a similar salad with kale, apples and hazelnuts which came in handy the week prior, when a huge head of perfectly tender kale was included in my CSA basket! Note for the kohlrabi listed on the blackboard below and which I also had in my basket, I just sliced it thin, just raw and peeled and put it in my salads all week. If you’d like more recipes using kohlrabi, click on this lovely site: Simply Recipes !
Another inspiration from my CSA basket was a gorgeous bunch of golden and red beets, for which I created a Beet Couscous Salad with fresh Mint. I made use of the roots as well as the leaves in this fabulous no-cook couscous salad with an orange lemon vinaigrette and finished it off with fresh mint right from my garden.
An old stand-by is my Mediterranean Couscous Salad, in which I can ad-lib as the spirit moves me so I can always adapt it to the latest findings in my basket!
I haven’t yet had fresh corn in my basket but when I do, I will be ready with this amazing fresh grilled corn salad with mint…WOW!!
…not to mention my Quinoa, Kale and Corn salad!
I have to admit sometimes I am a little intimidated with the huge amount of produce that I get that week! The other day, I had 2 lbs of green beans and I made them every which way! One obvious use was to throw together a Salade Niçoise with a ton of green beans!
No need for a recipe here–It’s just a matter of gathering fresh ripe tomatoes, boiled small potatoes, hard boiled eggs (pasture-raised), parboiled green beans, canned tuna (here is a sustainable brand I like), olives and chives on a bed of fresh lettuce (I particularly like Boston lettuce for this salad). Then all you need is your favorite vinaigrette. I like to make mine with:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp coarse salt
fresh ground pepper
I also often get BEAUTIFUL fresh strawberries in my CSA basket! They are so perfectly ripe and sweet, we just enjoy them, plain and simple, no need for any fancy recipe!
…or sometimes, I like to include them in my salad, sliced with any of the perfectly fresh lettuces or any fresh cut greens I find in my basket; add to that, some chopped nuts or seeds and a sprinkle of goat cheese, and you got yourself a delicious (and elegant) salad!
One week, I had so many strawberries, I created this lovely dessert, my Mousse à la Fraise–a minimalist vegan delight–filled with them!
Anyway, you get the idea: Find any and all ways to incorporate as many fresh produce as you can, when you can, and if, by the same token, you can do it while supporting your local farm or market, it’ll be a win-win for your health and for that of our planet!
A votre Santé!
PS: For those of you who missed me while I was in France (!!), here is what I was busy doing with the family…I know I know, I should keep my day job!!!!