The vegetable garden at partial rest on the last day of 2013
EARLIER THIS MONTH we had some decidedly cold weather for these parts–a week of temperatures in the low-to-mid 20’s overnight and not much above freezing during the daytime. Some of the more winter hardy vegetables are rebounding and shedding leaves that have turned to mush. Often at this time of year there are slim pickings for salads, but who doesn’t love a challenge?
Treviso type radicchio
Late yesterday I went foraging for salad material. I was able to collect some small, barely heading radicchio, lots of parsley, some Mibuna type mustard greens, cilantro, lacinato kale, small leaves from Rosalind broccoli, and some Rubine brussels sprouts; all hardy, hearty and strong greens.
Mixed, washed greens
Small lacinato kale leaves
Shaved Rubine brussels sprouts
Now, to put together the right dressing, equally hearty with flavors to stand up to and compliment the bitterness and ‘greeness’ of some of the greens.
The salad dressing
My favorite salad bowl was probably made for proofing bread dough once-upon-a-time. My grandma Aggie always had it filled with unshelled nuts, especially from Thanksgiving to Christmas and I never saw bread dough in it. I have owned it for 40 plus years and it is well seasoned by now. I mashed 2 cloves of garlic with some coarse salt into a paste; mashed 2 anchovy filets into a paste as well. To the garlic and anchovies, I whisked in 1 1⁄2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, two teaspoons Dijon mustard and three tablespoons of grassy olive oil. About a tablespoon or so of capers added some extra punch.
The dressed greens
I added the greens, a little sliced celery and sweet slices of pear, the last one from our tree; tossed all together, sprinkled on some pomegranate seeds and a few grinds of pepper.
It was a fantastic salad, with bright and biting flavors. It may be on the menu tonight too!
A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who has stumbled upon this blog and paused to read one of my posts, and to those of you who subscribe. This is my 151st post since I began the blog in 2009. This year posts were kind of sporadic and I took a two month break; I might still have something left to say in 2014.
May you all have a HAPPY NEW YEAR IN 2014!