Monday, May 30, 2011

The Kitchen Garden Salad

As soon as my little seedlings sprout, I am dreaming of this day- the day when we can head out to the garden with our school scissors and do our first big harvest of salad greens and make the most amazing salad of the year.

It is a true celebration of spring with all the colours and flavours that are found in my kitchen garden. This is when I get excited about food!

If you don't have one yet, one of the most amazing ways to enhance your cooking is to make some space for some fresh, home-grown food in a garden.

Your "garden" can be a simple pot filled with herbs on a patio balcony, a bag of soil thrown on the ground, a square cut open and a variety of lettuce and kale seedlings stuck in it, or a little plot of your yard devoted to the jardin potager, or the kitchen garden. Whatever it is, you can enhance your space and your plate with some green goodness.

The little herb garden
As I read about the French jardin potager, I was inspired. The goal of these food gardens is not only to provide food but to also be aestetically pleasing. They would add flowers to enhance the space. I have already added some pansies and nasturtiums to my herb garden as they are edible beauties and I lined my kale and lettuce garden with marigolds to keep pests at bay. Who says vegetable gardens can't be beautiful?

Here is what was in our celebration salad, dressed ever so simply.

The Kitchen Garden "Spring Celebration" Salad
Cutting kale and kale flowers

Use whatever you have in your edible garden. If you don't have one, think about putting some herbs and lettuce seedlings in a pot and in a few weeks you can have your own celebration salad!

Leaves cut from:
romaine lettuce
leafy lettuce


Using all the edibles we can!
fennel fronds

chive flowers, separated
kale flowers


Simple Salad Dressing

Lettuce growing in pots

In a small jar shake to combine:
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/4 tsp dijon mustard
1/8 tsp sea salt
optional: 1/4-1/2 tsp honey or agave syrup

1. Toss washed and dried salad greens with dressing to taste. Sprinkle with additional salt if desired.