If you aim bring lunch to work every day, I’m sure you’ve had one of these nights: it’s past your bedtime, you have absolutely nothing lunch-worthy in the fridge, and you want an easy option to pack the next morning.
For this salad, I cooked spelt overnight in the slow cooker. I worried it would get too soggy (most slow cooker recipes were written for a breakfast porridge), but it emerged intact and springy. The rest of the recipe was easy to assemble in the morning.
Recipe: Spelt and Kale Lunch Salad
- 1 cup uncooked spelt (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
- 2 cups water
- pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp vinegar
- 2 tsp honey (or more to taste)
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1/3 c olive oil
- 1 large apple
- 1 bunch curly kale
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- To slow-cook spelt: place spelt, water, and salt in a slow cooker. Cook overnight on low, about 6-8 hours. (Alternately, cook spelt according to the package directions.)
- Pour off any excess water from your cooked spelt.
- Make the vinaigrette: in a large bowl, whisk the vinegar, honey, and mustard until combined. Taste for sweetness and add additional honey if needed. Slowly add olive oil while continuing to whisk.
- Chop the kale: I like to roll it into a thin, long bundle and cut into 1/2 inch strands.
- Add the kale to the vinaigrette. If you’re not squeamish, massaging the dressing into the raw kale by hand will considerably soften your salad and make it easier to eat.
- Core and chop the apple.
- Add the apple, sunflower seeds, and spelt to the salad and mix thoroughly.
This improvised salad turned out to be my favorite of the summer…so far. We had a little bit of delicious Castelmagno cheese left from our last visit to Persimmon Provisions and it was perfect on this salad, but it would have been great without cheese too.
Recipe: Lemony Arugula / Shaved Zucchini Salad
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- 1 tsp sugar
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cups (packed) arugula
- 1 large zucchini
- 1/2 cup capers, drained (or less, to taste)
- 1 oz salty aged cheese, crumbled or shaved (optional)
- In a large bowl, whisk the lemon juice, mustard, and sugar until well combined. Taste and add more sugar if it is too acidic. Stir in the lemon zest.
- Slowly drizzle in oil while whisking. You can always use more oil, too, if you’re in the mood.
- Add arugula to the bowl and, with your hands, mix and massage the dressing into it.
- With a vegetable peeler, peel the entire zucchini into long ribbons (you can just do it over the bowl – it’s going in there anyway).
- Add capers and toss to combine.
- Divide into bowls and top with cheese, if desired.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s) Cooking time:
Number of servings (yield): 2
I’m always on the lookout for easy summer lunches that transport well and don’t need to be heated. This salad was imagined to use up some odds and ends. I didn’t have high expectations but it came out so well, with pleasing textures and flavors.
This is my first time cooking with tempeh, and I’m honestly unsure what motivated me to buy it. I had my doubts when I tried a piece raw – it tasted horrible! But marinated and fried, it adds a good flavor and some protein to the salad.
Most of the other ingredients came from Rhode Island growers: the rye berries from Schartner Farms, the broccoli and garlic scapes from Pak Express. The broccoli was so good that I ate most of the bag instead of putting it in the salad…even the stems were tender.
- 1 package tempeh (I used an 8oz package of LightLife 3 grain)
- 1 cup dried rye berries
- a handful garlic scapes (scallions would work too)
- 1/2 head broccoli (I also used the leaves)
- orange juice
- soy sauce
- olive oil
- cider vinegar
- Chop the tempeh into 1/2 in cubes and marinate in a mixture of soy sauce and orange juice, just enough to cover. I used about 2 parts OJ to 1 part soy sauce.
- Prepare the rye berries: rinse with cool water and drain. Bring 2.5 cups water to a boil, add rye berries, turn down the heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes. If the rye berries are tender but with a bit of chewiness, they’re done.
- While the rye berries are cooking, chop the garlic scapes into small (1/8 in) rounds and the broccoli into 1/4 in pieces (or larger if you’d prefer).
- In a large bowl, prepare about a half cup of vinaigrette with some cider vinegar, olive oil, and pepper to taste. It can be a bit on the sharp/sour side because we will add some sweetness – and saltiness – later.
- When the rye berries are finished cooking, drain and toss with the vinaigrette, broccoli and scapes. The warm rye berries will soak up the dressing nicely.
- Drain the tempeh, reserving the marinade. Fry in a skillet with a bit of olive oil, browning on all sides, about 5 minutes. Pour the reserved marinade into the skillet, allowing it to cook down by about half. If you used a lot of soy sauce, you might not want to use all the marinade so your salad does not end up too salty. Mix the tempeh and cooked marinade into your salad, and season to taste if necessary.
I developed a Caesar Salad habit when we first participated in a CSA, as a response to the bounty of lettuce, farm fresh eggs, and my spring salad cravings.
My favorite Caesar recipe is in Arthur Schwartz’s Cooking in a Small Kitchen (a cookbook I love so much, it’s losing pages). I adapt the recipe to use a blender jar – it’s quicker, and extra dressing can simply be stored in the jar.
Adapted from Cooking in a Small Kitchen by Arthur Schwartz
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce (I use Tabasco brand)
- 1.5 tsp red wine vinegar
- 4 anchovy filets
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 raw egg*
Combine all ingredients in a blender jar. Blend until creamy, about 30 seconds.
Toss dressing with romaine lettuce. Lately I’ve been skipping the croutons and just topping with thick shavings of Parmesan, which I make with my favorite OXO vegetable peeler.
* I don’t, as he does, coddle the egg. If you are wary of raw eggs, you can coddle an egg by boiling water, turning off the heat, and placing the egg – with the shell still on – in the water for a minute.
The latest weed that’s taken a hold of my garden plot – even flourishing during an unwatered week of vacation – is purslane. I initially let it be, hoping it would make an attractive groundcover, but quickly realized my mistake as it started to spread.
Uglyagnes told me that one of her plot neighbors has been cooking purslane, so I thought I’d give it a try. I bit off a leaf and found it juicy with a mild citrus flavor – like a tame sorrel. Searching Epicurious revealed a few recipes, some of which, to my amusement, implied that purslane was something that one could only be lucky enough to find at speciality markets.
Salad with Purslane
I was most excited by the recipe for Grilled Zucchini Salad, but I modified it to include lentils and a chopped cucumber. It was the perfect way to use some of my Wickenden Street farmers’ market purchases. The result was quite delicious and a good use of “weeds”!
What are the ingredients that make you think of fall, besides the obvious squash and apples? The produce that seduced me on my last shopping trip were golden beets and pomegranates. I bought both without a recipe in mind, but when I walked into my kitchen their fate was obvious – they would make the perfect fall salad.
I roasted the beets and paired the two with cubes of piquant blue cheese and a balsamic vinaigrette. It was so delicious, it’s definitely going to become a fall tradition. The dressing was inspired by a recipe from Food & Wine. The amounts below will make salads for at least 4, if not twice that. I kept the ingredients in the fridge and mixed salads as needed.
For an unusual but delicious pairing, try the salad with Hitachino Nest “Real Ginger Brew“.
Here’s the recipe: (click link to view)