Saturday, December 13, 2008

Salad Lunch from Garden Inspiration

Plant a radish, get a radish, never any doubt. That's why I love vegetables, you know what they're about! ~ Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt

We enjoyed harvesting some lovely vegetables from our garden today.  It is so rewarding to be able to go to the garden at lunch time, pick the produce readily available and then prepare some lunch.  The radish are beautiful - so fresh and tasty and they are really sizeable.  You can pop radish seeds in anywhere.  They come up very, very quickly and thus are wonderful first veges for the children to grow (and you, if you are a first time vege gardener like me).  The work we did on vegetables in late September is paying off and we also have lovely bright red cherry tomatoes to harvest.

Here, you can see what we collected from our garden for lunch.  Cherry tomatoes, radish freshly pulled, some thyme, mint, parsley, garlic chives.  Now to lunch preparation.

I had some lovely cos lettuce I had purchased from the markets. They were so good I could not resist them. I should have though, as we have some lovely ones also growing in our garden - spurred on by the recent cooler weather and bits of rain.  These cos leaves I broke into smaller pieces and placed onto a large plate.

Into a bowl I mixed some cannellini beans, a couple of tins of salmon (although you could use tuna if your tastes prefer), two grated carrots and an organic zucchini (also grated), our two radishes sliced, also the tomatoes quartered.  This was dressed with a mixture of extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice (from Grandad's steady supply of lemons) and our freshly chopped garden herbs.  It's these herbs that make all the different I believe. If you don't grow herbs it really is worthwhile starting. They grow so very easily with morning sun, not a great deal of water, although they all have their various needs, and make the addition of herbs to all meals very cheap.  They change every meal you prepare and nothing is ever bland again.  The dressing was shaken in a jar before being stirred through salad, which was then placed on the plate on top of the cos leaves. 

As a finishing touch of crunch, I made croutons by chopping our organic wholemeal spelt loaf of bread into bite sized pieces, and dressing with extra virgin olive oil and some river salt and freshly cracked black pepper.  These were grilled till golden and then placed on top of the salad with some freshly grated matured cheddar cheese.  Parmesan would also work perfectly.

Here is the delicious result.  A very tasty, fresh luncheon enjoyed by all. 

I hope you are enjoying some lovely fresh salads this summer.  I am really enjoying finding ways to use my garden produce. This is what simple living is all about to me.

I'd love to read some other lovely salad ideas, please let me know if you have some so I can visit you and read for some more inspiration.

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