Does anyone feel like cooking in this heat? Certainly not me, and I'm not only an avid home cook, but a professional recipe developer and food writer.
At last Saturday's farmers' market in Joseph, I shared tips for making summer supper salads. While making a salad doesn't sound like a major cooking challenge, there are some key elements that make it satisfying:
- feature a protein, such as shredded grilled chicken, thinly sliced grilled steak or a hearty vegetable like roasted beets
- include a starch, such as (leftover) roasted potatoes, cooked beans or bowtie pasta
- garnish with croutons, crumbled or shredded cheese or nuts
- drizzle it with a creamy dressing, such as a blue cheese, ranch or green goddess (homemade is easy and best)
At the demonstration, I prepared 3 salads from a host of mix-and-match ingredients from Fluit Family Farms and Backyard Gardens that included:
- Grilled steak salad with salad mix, thinly sliced flank steak, tomatoes, green beans, bacon, white beans, homemade croutons with blue cheese dressing
- Asian steak salad with Asian salad mix, rice noodles, sliced cucumber, snap peas, chopped grilled flank steak and cilantro with a rice wine dressing (recipe follows)
- Raw beet salad over salad mix with shredded grilled chicken breast, grated beets & carrots, feta, chopped toasted walnuts and chopped parlsey with red wine vinaigrette
I could easily have made a dozen different salads from these ingredients. The best part was, since all of them were prepared in advance, there was no actual cooking involved.
Try it yourself at home!
--Lynne Sampson Curry
Rice Wine Dressing
This is my all-purpose dressing for Asian-style salads made with shredded cabbage, rice noodles or cooked rice tossed with grilled chicken, pork or tofu plus grated carrots or radish, chopped scallions and cilantro--and that's just to name a few possibilities.
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/2 teaspoons red chili flakes (optional)
Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Toss into the salad to taste.