Farmers Market Salad Season Arrives
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Farmers’ market season is in full swing, making unrivaled salad ingredients accessible. Some experiences are unique to the market, like discovering the flavor of a local heirloom tomato or an artisan cheese, or chatting with a vendor about how it was produced.
No matter where you purchase produce, it needs to be properly cleaned before eating to reduce surface bacteria. Produce that has a tough skin, like melons, cucumbers, potatoes and squash should be scrubbed with a clean brush under running water. More delicate items like tomatoes or strawberries also benefit from friction under running water, but may not be able to withstand brushing, so use clean hands to scrub. As far as lettuce goes, if the package says that it has been washed and is ready-to-eat, then you don’t need to wash it. However, if it is freshly picked, tired-looking outside leaves should be removed and the lettuce should be held under running water, scrubbing with your hands as you are able. Produce washes and soap are not recommended, just cool running water.
This salad of fresh mixed lettuce, summer squash, cucumber and cherry tomatoes is a suggested combination. For the essence of summer, nearly any fresh market produce may be put together. Toss with a homemade salad dressing and top with cheese, then you’ve got a dish that’s great for your taste buds as well as your entire body.
Farmers’ Market Salad
6 cups mixed lettuce greens, coarsely chopped
1 cucumber, quartered and sliced (about 2 cups)
1 yellow squash, quartered and sliced (about 2 cups)
1 pint cherry tomatoes (about 2 cups)
4 large hard-boiled eggs, quartered and lightly salted
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
Wash and dry the produce with paper towels.
Place the lettuce, cucumber, squash and tomatoes in a large serving bowl. Pour dressing of choice over the top and toss gently.
Portion lettuce mixture into individual salad bowls or plates and garnish with egg and goat cheese. Serve immediately. Makes 6 – 8 servings
Culinarian Susan Burnett has shared two of her favorite salad dressing recipes:
1 tablespoon fresh (finely chopped) or teaspoon dried basil leaves
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 – 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
Pinch of salt
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
½ – 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Combine 1st 6 ingredients in bowl or jar. Add vinegar and whisk or shake until combined. Slowly add olive oil and whisk or shake until emulsified. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
2 cloves minced garlic
1 ½ teaspoon anchovy paste
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Combine 1st 5 ingredients in bowl and whisk until combined. Add remaining ingredients and whisk until combined. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Note – this is a very thick dressing.