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Thank the garden angels that lettuce and spinach like cool weather. If they didn’t, nothing would be growing in my garden. These days and days of chilly temperatures with scattered rain showers aren’t helping. But the greens are doing okay.
We just started picking a variety of lettuces along with baby spinach leaves for making the most scrumptious salads imaginable. Nothing in the grocery stores, even at premium prices, compare with the flavors of homegrown greens, picked fresh, and served within the hour.
It’s at this time, with a daily salad, that I know we are eating nutritiously. It’s those salads, too, that recoup all the money I spent for every other vegetable seed or seedling. Not in actual dollars, but in value.
I make sure we have fresh greens from late May to early October by planting seeds every couple of weeks. Most are planted in the garden, but some are planted in containers on the porch. But, oh, does it hurt to have to return to lettuce and spinach that have likely been shipped across the country during the rest of the year. I suppose, though, that if they were
available year ‘round, we wouldn’t appreciate those fresh flavors and tastes as much.
A few more weeks are needed before juicy, red tomatoes and fresh, zesty homegrown onions are ready for the salad. In the meantime, we have fresh chives and there’s a farm in Madison that grows very tasty tomatoes in greenhouses all year that are used.
Here are a few dressing recipes perfect for topping greens. But first, I’ve included a delicious whole salad recipe that contains a variety of flavors.
Dressed Up Green Salad With Feta (serves 4)
4 cups assorted greens (use some mesclun for a zesty flavor)
1 unpeeled eating apple, diced
one-quarter cup chopped walnuts
one-quarter cup crumbled feta cheese
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
one-quarter teaspoon salt
1 large clove garlic, crushed
Combine greens, diced apple and walnuts. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour over greens, then top with feta.
The following recipe is not only good over salad greens, but also mixed into coleslaw or atop cooked vegetables.
Creamy Herb Dressing (about 1 and a quarter cups)
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 green onion or scallion, with most of the top, finely minced
3 tablespoons minced parsley, (or 3 teaspoons dried)
one-half teaspoon dried tarragon
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup sour cream, (use low fat, if desired)
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except the sour cream and stir well. Stir in the sour cream. Let chill in refrigerator for at least an hour before using.
Add a fresh, dilly flavor to your daily salad with this dressing. This dressing is also very good on pan fried, baked or broiled white fish.
Dill Dressing (about two-thirds cup)
One-quarter cup finely chopped fresh dill, (or 3 teaspoons dried dill weed)
2 large cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
one-third cup olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a covered container. Shake well. Chill before serving.
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