My goal these days is to eat as much salad as possible. This is in part because our backyard garden is bursting with lettuce, kale, spinach, and more, but also because we joined a CSA and they have lots of leafy greens too! However,there’s also the reason that I want to stock up on the leafy goodness before the weather gets too hot and they start turning super bitter. In the end though it’s really just because I love salads and never seem to get sick of the endless possibilities and combinations!
Our lettuce crop has been especially successful this year and luckily for me there’s no such thing as “too much lettuce.” Here are some reasons why I love lettuce and want to grow tons of it:
1) Salad season doesn’t last all year and it’s important to stock up while supplies are good.
2) One season madame was pregnant—okay, actually more than one season—and she had an aversion to greens which meant we didn’t eat salads and while I was supportive I couldn’t help but feel a bit sad, knowing what I was missing out on.
3) It’s really healthy to eat green vegetables and it’s also healthy to eat vegetables straight from the garden that still have bits of soil on them. This is because living in the soil are wonderful local beneficial microbes that can help inhabit your internal microbiome, giving you many benefits! This is why I only barely wash my homegrown vegetables and those from my CSA. (For more on this go read Farmacology (available in Canada too) at your local library!).
4) Salad is delicious and full of endless possibilities and potential combinations.
5) Having salad as part of a meal makes the meal look more pretty.
6) Lettuce is a great addition to a amazing local sandwich (on homemade sourdough).
Lately I’ve had two goals related to lettuce: one is to eat tons of it and the other is to use it in salads that are unique. So here are few ideas to help make salads more unique, which in turn helps to achieve goal number one which is to eat tons of it (because it’s harder to get tired of eating different things!)
1) Make croutons from stale bread.
- Simply fry pieces of bread in butter or bacon grease until they are turning golden and getting crunchy. They will be more crunchy after they cool.
- Use different types of bread to provide variation from salad to salad.
- Add different flavors to the croutons, like garlic, herbs, or even balsamic vinegar.
2) Use combinations of raw and fresh vegetables.
- Roasted sweet potato is an awesome addition.
- Butter or bacon-fried radishes are great, and the frying softens their sometimes harsh flavor.
3) Make a different salad dressing every time by playing around with different ratios and ingredients.
- We usually start with a base of ¼ cup oil and 3 tablespoons of vinegar, then start adding whatever sounds good!
- For a more bitter salad you can balance things out by adding some honey or maple syrup to the dressing.
4) Don’t forget fruit!
- Strawberries go nice with onions.
- Apples and pears like stinky cheeses.
- Watermelon and basil go together!
5) Nuts add great texture and flavor.
- Try lightly toasting them in the oven or in a pan, but don’t leave them alone, they burn quickly.
- Toss them in a pan with a bit of honey and butter for some caramelized nuts! This is a nice addition when you have bitter vegetables to balance.
6) Cheese is the ultimate ingredient to make a salad unique because there are so many kinds of cheese!
- Play around with different combinations until you find your favorites.
- Our family favorite is goat cheese because it tastes wonderful and adds a nice creaminess to the salad.
So, there are a bunch of ways to make salads unique, but I’m sure there are many more. What do you put in your salads to make them awesome and unique?
Linking at Nomday Monday.