Tag Archives: nasturtiums

Shredded Romaine Salad with Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette

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It’s been a very long while since I picked up my camera and even thought of logging onto my food blog.  It’s not because I’ve lost my passion for cooking, or that I’ve burned out or that I’m the laziest person that I know…  It’s just that my day job has completely devoured my personal life for over a year and I can now say that it’s finally starting to wind down. I look forward to regularly getting back into my kitchen and creating healthy (and sometimes not so healthy but totally worth it) home cooked dishes for my family and friends.  I also look forward to catching up on what’s been happening at all my favorite food blogs.  And with all that said, I’m happy to say that I am thrilled to be back.

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Even though I have been busy all year, I still found time to tuck some fresh herbs and flowers in my garden earlier this spring.  This season I’ve added a variety of  herbs including curled parsley and nasturtiums.  The nasturtiums are from seeds that I gathered last fall and the parsley was from starts that I found down at the Grange.  I prefer to grow my own herbs.  First of all, I know that they are grown organically (I know, because I refuse to use sprays or pesticides), and second, it saves me a bunch of money.  Oh, and third, you can’t get any fresher herbs than hand picked straight from the garden.

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Nasturtiums are edible annual flowers that I love to add to salads for bright cheerful color and a peppery flavor.  They also make gorgeous garnishes on appetizer trays and desserts.  They are easy to grow and require very little attention.

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Today I want to share with you a simple delicious Shredded Romaine Salad with a tangy Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette.  Green salads are an every day part of my family’s diet and this green salad is now one of my new favorites.  This salad is super easy to make, bright in flavor and can be served alongside a variety of dishes.  This salad was inspired by a salad served at one of my favorite restaurants, the Jacksonville Inn in Jacksonville, Oregon and the Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette recipe was adapted from Epicurius.  Serves 4.  Enjoy!  Tessa

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Ingredients:

  • 1 large head romaine lettuce
  • handful fresh picked parsley (washed and minced)
  • several fresh nasturtium blossoms (washed and lightly chopped)
  • Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette (recipe below)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Begin by washing and drying the romaine lettuce.  With a sharp knife, cut the romaine lettuce into thin strips.  Loosely toss and place onto salad plates (about two cups of lettuce per plate) and garnish with minced parsley and nasturtium blossoms.  Lightly drizzle with Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette and add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately.

Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • Zest of a large lemon
  • Juice of a large lemon
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tbs white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/4 cup minced parsley

Whisk all ingredients together and store in a jar with a tight fitting lid.  Shake well before serving.  Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  Makes about 1 cup.

Green Cauliflower Salad with Garlic Caper Vinaigrette

Green Cauliflower Salad

I finally picked the last of my winter vegetables from my little garden.  Earlier this spring I planted some green cauliflower starts and I was amazed at how well they did this year.  I’ve never really had good luck with cauliflower before but, those who know me know that I’m not one to give up that easily…  One of the cauliflower heads that I harvested this year was about 10″ in diameter.  It was just amazing. I could not believe that I was able to grow such beautiful cauliflower in my garden!

In addition to the cauliflower, other vegetables that I have planted are ready for harvest.  My tomato plants are beginning to produce bunches of ripe tomatoes.  I planted several heirloom varieties of tomatoes in my garden and in large pots.  Medford Ace, Green Zebra, Black, Sweet 100, Pineapple, Caspian Pink, Yellow Pear, and Roma are some of the varieties that I selected this year.  Even my zucchini, yellow squash and lemon cucumbers will be ready to pick in less than a week.  I can’t wait!

Fresh picked green cauliflower.  Do you notice that it is almost a lime green unlike the traditional white cauliflower?  What’s cool about green cauliflower is that it retains its pretty green color even when it is cooked.

Green Zebra tomato.  One of my favorite types of tomatoes.  They are mild in flavor with gorgeous green stripes.  I like to slice them, combine with fresh mozzarella from the local creamery, fresh picked basil and drizzle with a good quality olive oil for a delicious and easy caprese salad.

Black tomato.  I have not tasted this variety yet.  It’s not quite ready to pick.  It will be interesting to see what the interior of this tomato will look like when I slice it.

Rainier cherry from my tree.  Rainier cherries are sweet, juicy and perfect for snacking.

The last of the Rainier Cherries. These tasty little fruits never made it into the house :).  Fortunately, I got to them before the hungry birds did…

Green Cauliflower ready to be picked.  You have to know that everything I grow in my garden is organic.  I am one of those people who refuses to use pesticides or herbicides.  I also make it a point to compost my yard debris, lawn clippings and kitchen scraps.  Sometimes I have problems with pests such as snails and slugs but in my opinion, I’d rather deal with them on an individual basis and be confident that the produce that I grow for my family is chemical free.

My Green Cauliflower Salad is a simple dish with fresh picked green cauliflower and a tasty garlic caper vinaigrette.  White balsamic vinegar and lemon zest give the salad a bright hit of flavor.  It can be served hot, cold or even at room temperature.  Makes 4 servings.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of green cauliflower or 1 pound of florets
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • water
  • 6 Tbs olive oil
  • 3 Tbs white balsamic vinegar
  • 3 Tbs capers
  • 1 Tbs lemon zest
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • garnish with fresh picked nasturtium blossoms

Begin by placing a steamer basket in a medium sized pot with a tight fitting lid.  Add about 1 inch of water to the pot.  Bring to a boil.  Add cauliflower, lemon juice and salt.  Add lid.  Steam cauliflower for about 6  to 8 minutes or until tender.  Remove from cauliflower from pot and drain.  Meanwhile, make the garlic caper vinaigrette. Whisk together the olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, garlic, capers, lemon zest, salt and pepper.  Add garlic caper vinaigrette and chopped parsley to steamed cauliflower and lightly toss.  Place in serving dish.  Garnish with nasturtium blossoms.  Serve hot, cold or at room temperature.