Olympia Farmers Market

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Market Recipe: Salad Blueprint

There are no rules to creating salads, meaning this is less of a recipe and more of a guide to inspire your salad-crafting! Market produce rotates constantly throughout the year depending on what local farmers are harvesting. Shopping for seasonal offerings means there is always something new to cook with. Feeling like you’re in a rut or eating the same salad on repeat?Consider these ideas when imagining what your next salad could be:

Seasonal—Focus on seasonal produce in your salads.Vegetables harvested in the same season often taste best together. Picture the classic Greek salad with butter lettuce, summer cucumbers, tomato, red onion, and a fresh oregano and thyme dressing. Or, a hearty winter salad with Lacinato kale, cubed butternut squash, red onion, tangy apples, and toasted pumpkinseeds.

Variety—Fresh romaine or spicy spring arugula standalone as a fantastic base for a salad, but you can also combine a variety of greens to add intrigue to your side dishes. Play with different colors and textures of greens. Pair velvety butterhead lettuce with crunchy romaine, or toss dark green baby spinach with red leaf lettuce. Many farmers sell pre-mixed bags of salad greens, but you can also select your ingredients separately and mix your own salads at home.

Surprise—Fruit, nuts, seeds, cheese, and croutons are probably not the first things you think of when you picture salad—and that’s why you should consider adding them into the mix! Imagine late spring salads with spinach and strawberries, or summer salads with peach slices, tomato, basil, and mozzarella. Feta, watermelon, and mint is a classic combination over a bed of baby greens. Pumpkin and sunflower seeds add earthy flavors and welcome texture. Homemade croutons made from leftover bakery bread are so good you’ll want to eat them on their own.

Finely chopped—Keep texture in mind when creating your salads. A mixed variety will keep your salads interesting, and each bite will be something different. Including finely chopped fresh herbs such as basil and mint transform a boring salad into one you’ll go back to for seconds.Dicing vegetables into similarly sized pieces, and tossing with dressing, will allow you to taste everything in the same bite. And the best kept secret?Salads don’t require lettuce! Diced cucumber, tomato, pepper, feta, and red onion can be eaten with a spoon or on a tortilla chip—and we still think that counts as a salad!

A Full Meal—Adding protein like hard boiled eggs, cheese, beans, chicken, steak, or fish can turn your side dish into a full meal. Simple herb-roasted chicken thighs from Riverbird Farm, or broiled salmon from Sea Blossom Seafood are satisfying with acidic dressings. Black beans and steak mix well with creamy and herb-based dressings.

Homemade—Your veggies are fresh and your dressings can be too! Simple dressings can be created quickly and are easily customizable to fit your tastes. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Greek-Style Dressing:

·     ¼ cup red wine vinegar

·     ¼ cup olive oil + 1 Tbsp

·     1 Tbsp lemon juice

·     2-3 cloves garlic (crushed)

·     ½  tsp oregano

·     ½  tsp thyme

·     1 tsp dijon mustard

·     1 tsp honey

Add all ingredients, except oil, to a bowl. Whisk to combine. While continuing to whisk, slowly add olive oil. Store in fridge.

Strawberry Balsamic Dressing:

·     ½ cup strawberries

·     ¼ cup balsamic oil

·     ¼ cup olive oil

·     2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme

·     Salt and pepper to taste

Add all ingredients to a bowl. Using an immersion blender*,blend until smooth. Store in fridge for up to one week.

*Alternatively, soft ripe strawberries can also be finely chopped and smashed with a fork and whisked with ingredients.

Tzatziki  Dressing:

·     1 cup Tunawerth Dairy yogurt

·     1 small cucumber

·     1 tsp lemon juice

·     3 cloves minced garlic

·     3-4 chopped mint leaves

·     ¼ cup chopped dill

·     1Tbsp olive oil

·     Salt, pepper to taste

Peel cucumbers and cut in half lengthwise. Remove seeds with a spoon and discard. Dice the cucumbers finely. Add all ingredients to one bowl and mix. Reserve some of your chopped dill or add more to your taste. For a smoother texture and extra acidity, add more lemon juice. Store in an airtight container in the fridge and use within four days.

Oven crouton recipe:

·     2 cups leftover bread torn into pieces

·     ½ Tbsp olive oil

·     ¼ tsp each: thyme, oregano, onion powder, pepper flakes

·     Salt and pepper

Heat oven to 350° F. Place bread pieces on a  with enough space for some air circulation throughout the pieces. Lightly drizzle olive oil on top of the bread. Sprinkle dried spices on top of the bread along with a generous amount of salt and pepper. With washed hands or tongs, toss the bread to increase surface coverage of the oil and spices. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until croutons are golden brown and crunchy. Flip halfway through. Croutons should be eaten same day or stored in an airtight container.