Tag Archives: radish

Spring Green Salad with Strawberry Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

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Spring Green Salad with Strawberry Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

I’m so excited!  Spring has finally arrived in Southern Oregon!  According to the calendar, “technically” it’s still winter.  According to what is happening in my backyard, the calendar is way wrong :)…

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A crocus blossom… One of the first flowers to make an appearance in our backyard early in the season.  I love the bright orange stamens and the purple and white streaked petals.  I have them planted in many places in our yard.  Some reside in pots, some are tucked under bushes and trees.  Crocuses grow only a few inches tall and come back every year during the month of March.

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This is a shot of some pansies that I have planted in a hanging pot on my back patio.  Pansies are a regular staple to our yard in the spring and fall.  Every time I look at them they make me smile.  I enjoy the bright and cheerful colors outside my kitchen window.

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A close-up shot of a pansy blossom.  I was thrilled to capture this image with my camera.  Through the lens of my camera, I was able to see this amazing amount of detail on the flower.  I can’t see this level of detail even with my reading glasses on.

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A tulip poking its way through the soil.  I look forward to a big vase full of bright red blossoms on our dining room table in a short couple of weeks.

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Purple crocus.  What’s not to like about that deep rich indigo color?

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Even the koi fish in our pond are starting to surface for the first handfuls of feed of the year.  This is Pumpkin…  He’s one of the original fish to live in our pond.  He’s almost 2 feet long and about 10 years old.  I remember the day when Bruce and I purchased him.  He was about 4 inches in length and shared a plastic bag with four other fish on the trip home. Several years later, we now have a total of 8 koi fish happily living in our pond.

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Whenever I think of spring, one of the first things that come to mind is fresh picked strawberries.  I purchased a couple of pints of strawberries the other day and one of the things that I wanted to do with them was to make a spring like strawberry vinaigrette.  My Strawberry Poppy Seed Vinaigrette is a wonderfully pink colored salad dressing made with fresh strawberries, red wine vinegar, local honey, Dijon Mustard, canola oil and poppy seeds.  It’s a delicious vinaigrette to serve drizzled over a plate of fresh picked greens and sliced strawberries.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Strawberry Poppy Seed Vinaigrette Ingredients:

  • 1/4 pound strawberries (cleaned and hulled)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbs honey or to taste
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 tsp poppy seeds or to taste

Add strawberries, red wine vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard and canola oil to a blender.  Blend until smooth.  Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.  Splash more vinegar into the dressing if you want… Mix in the poppy seeds.  Makes 1 cup or 16 – 1 Tablespoon servings.  Store in a tightly covered jar in the refrigerator for up to 3 or 4 days.

Green Salad (per serving)

  • 2 cups fresh lettuce
  • 1 thinly sliced radish
  • 2 strawberries (hulled and quartered)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced radicchio
  • 1 Tbs Strawberry Poppy Seed Vinaigrette (or to taste)

Assemble by placing salad greens on a plate.  Arrange radishes, strawberries and radicchio on top of the greens.  Drizzle greens with the Strawberry Poppy Seed Vinaigrette.  Makes one serving.

Beet, Chevre and Radish Crostini

Beet, Chevre and Radish Crostini

As a child, I despised beets.  Hated, hated, freaking hated them…  From what I understood is that beets came out of a can and no amount of money, begging or bribing could get me to eat them.  No way, never, nope, nuh uh, not happening…  Ever.

And then I grew up…

It was only a few years ago when I rediscovered beets.  In my opinion, beets now taste delicious.  Beets are beautifully colored, richly flavored and earthy.  I can’t believe I just said this out loud.  I like beets. I like them roasted, baked or sliced on a green salad.  Red or golden beets.  Either is fine with me.  Even better is that my beets that I prepare for my family are freshly picked and don’t come out of a can.  I just wash and scrub them well, cut off the tops and toss them in the oven.  After they are cooked, I peel them, slice and serve.  All I do is give them a hit of fresh cream butter or olive oil, cracked black pepper and salt.

I got the idea of blending beets and chevre from a recipe for a Roasted Beet and Chevre Spread in a cookbook called “Dishing up Oregon” by Ashley Gartland.  What a lovely cookbook!  Great photos and fabulous recipes from some of Oregon’s finest cooks.

For those who do not know what chevre is, chevre is a delightfully creamy and complex flavored cheese made from the milk of goats.  I loved the mixture of beets and chevre and decided to adapt the recipe for a delicious Beet, Chevre and Radish Crostini.

Locally grown red beets ready to be baked…

Chevre from the Mama Terra Micro Creamery in Williams, Oregon.  The absolute best chevre I have ever tasted in my life.  The cheese is made from the milk of a small herd of Nubian goats.  If you see this cheese in the store, do not hesitate.  Buy it.  It’s outstanding.

Fresh picked local organic radishes. Bright, crisp and peppery.  Simply delicious!

Beet, Chevre, and Radish Crostini garnished with chopped chives from my herb garden.  The beet and chevre mixture is a vibrant pink and the thinly sliced radishes adds a wonderful crunch and a peppery flavor to the little toasts.  I sprinkled the chopped chives on the top of the toasts for a flavorful garnish.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 pound beets (I used 2 medium sized red) washed, scrubbed and tops removed.
  • 8 ounces fresh creamy chevre cheese
  • 2 tsp olive oil (or more if needed)
  • 2 tsp white balsamic vinegar
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • 3 or 4 thinly sliced radishes (I used a mandolin and then sliced again with a sharp knife to achieve the shredded effect)
  • fresh chives for garnish
  • 1 loaf baguette bread

Begin by washing and scrubbing your beets.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Remove the beet tops and put the beets in an oven proof pan.  Add a little bit of water (about 1/3 of a cup) and cover tightly with foil.   Bake for one hour or until beets are fork tender.  Remove from oven and let cool.

When beets are cool enough to handle, peel the skin off, quarter them and toss in a food processor.  Blend well, scraping the sides.  Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and chevre cheese.  Pulse until well incorporated.  Add salt and pepper.  Add additional olive oil if the mixture is too thick for your liking.  Taste and correct your seasonings.  Remove from food processor and set aside.  Can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for a day or two.

Slice baguette bread into 1/2 inch slices and toast on a grill pan or barbecue.  Spread beet and chevre mixture on top, add radishes and garnish with chives. Makes about 2 cups of beet and chevre mixture and a couple dozen toasts.