There’s nothing like diving into a big bowl of fresh, crisp garden salad this time of year. Summer is here and soon the fresh vegetables in our gardens will be ready for picking. Every day I marvel at how fast my tomatoes are growing. Just last week they were the size of a walnut and now, bigger than a golf ball. If you don’t have space for a garden, visit your local farmers market for the best fresh organic produce out there.
⇒ Better yet…grow your own in a grow box perfect for small yards or patio gardens. Click here to read my product review for The Garden Patch Grow Box. I think you’ll be impressed.
Which kind of lettuce is best?
Today there are so many different kinds of lettuce to choose from. Experiment and try different ones to find your favorites. This will sound quite elementary, but remember to always thoroughly wash lettuce under cold water. I remember the very first head of lettuce we grew and excitedly began to prepare it for a dinner salad. While washing it, a centipede crawled out from under one of the leaves. Horrified, I threw the entire thing away. I’ve grown up since then.
Iceberg lettuce and romaine have sturdier leaves and can support bulkier vegetables and thicker dressings. On the flip side, baby spinach and arugula are a better fit for vinaigrettes.
Salad for dinner? Why not…just add some protein like chicken, chopped leftover turkey or a sliced hard boiled egg. Slice some avocado for fiber. For another depth of flavor, add tomatoes, sliced onions, olives, sliced apples and chunks of sharp cheddar cheese or crumbled blue cheese. Don’t forget color…red, orange, yellow and green bell peppers also add the perfect crunch.
A few salad ideas…
Iceberg lettuce topped with slices of roasted chicken from last night’s dinner, sliced red onion, crumbled blue cheese, a few black olives and topped with a yogurt dressing.
Arugula as the base, topped with chopped artichoke hearts, tuna, sliced hard boiled egg, a few roasted red peppers, tomatoes, black olives, finely chopped flat-leaf parsley and sprinkled with a good balsamic vinegar. Very Mediterranean.
Sliced iceberg lettuce or Bibb lettuce topped with sliced hard boiled egg, cherry tomatoes from the garden, chopped leftover ham, a little red onion, shredded carrots and Ranch dressing. Very American.
Leafy dark greens as the base, topped with sliced cucumber, chopped leftover chicken, mandarin oranges, almonds and a drizzle of ginger soy dressing. Very Asian.
Please come back often as I will be adding more salad ideas and recipes on a regular basis. As always, I welcome your feedback and comments.