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Friday, June 1, 2012

Mediterranean Salad

















We love this time of year.  The planter instinct revives in us and off we go to the nursery to choose plants that will eventually satisfy that craving for something that we have actually grown and harvested with our very own hands.

The vegetable garden at our previous house was never very big but the one in our backyard now is even smaller. Our tomato field measures nine feet square and boasts twelve Big Boy variety tomato plants and  the previously existing flower bed has now been converted into a tidy little herb garden.

Fourteen little cucumber plants grow close to our deck looking up towards the railing where they will soon wrap their little tentacles and hold on tightly eventually bearing the weight of their fruit.

Permission was granted by the tomato plants for some arugula seeds to be planted in their space and four hot pepper plants sit in a small pot since they didn’t fit anywhere else and probably wouldn’t get along with the tomatoes anyway.

One morning we discovered a potential threat to our little garden when noticing the missing leaves on some of our perennial flower plants .
We have since been warned by the neighbours that the resident bunny loves to eat perennials and just about anything else that is green.

I met the little culprit one morning and had he been wearing a little blue jacket would certainly have mistaken him for Peter Rabbit. I’ve also met its twins (or one set of its twins), each hardly bigger than a baseball but the sweetest little creatures I have ever seen.

It’s hard to be angry with them but they have been causing me to experience nightmares in which my herb garden had been totally devoured.  Every morning at daylight I peer over the deck to check and assure myself that it was indeed only a bad dream.

Soon we will enjoy summer salads and an abundance of vegetables from gardens and local farmer's markets. This is the best reason I can think of for enjoying an extra salad or two. 

As the finale to a large meal, the main for a light lunch or side to a delicious barbequed steak or burger we all have our favourite salads .
In the next few posts I will share some of our favourites which may also be yours!


Mediterranean Salad

I honestly didn’t know what to call this salad.  The first time I put a similar one together I needed to make a green salad that was more substantial than just salad greens. Having some antipasto ingredients left over it seemed a good idea to add them into the romaine salad I was making.
Since several ingredients are associated with Mediterranean cuisine I decided to call it just that, Mediterranean Salad.  I think I've added yet one more Mediterranean Salad recipe to the hundreds already in existence.
A light wine vinegar and olive oil vinaigrette like the one I use on grilled vegetables enhances the flavours of ingredients without overpowering them.
This salad makes a great lunch or accompaniment to a light dinner.

romaine lettuce
cherry tomatoes
pitted Kalamata olives
cocktail bocconcini
chives
salt to taste, pepper optional
wine vinegar and olive oil dressing
  1. Roughly chop washed and thoroughly dry romaine lettuce.
  2. Slice cherry tomatoes in half or if using larger tomatoes in bite size pieces
  3. Cut cocktail bocconcini in half, this will ensure that they will be more evenly dispersed in the salad
  4. Finely chop chives. (thin slices of sweet onion will also work.)
  5. Mix all ingredients together and dress with vinaigrette just before serving.

Notes, Tips and Suggestions
  • Mix in some arugula or any other favourite lettuce with romaine for a variation.
  • Replace Kalamata olives with your favourite variety.
  • Try adding some marinated artichoke hearts to the salad.
  • Replace bocconcini with Greek Feta Cheese.

2 comments:

  1. elizabeth enjoys her edibles, especially eggplantJune 2, 2012 at 7:47 AM

    How Italian can you go -- convert a flower bed into all things edible. That's the spirit! You show those neighbours. Just wait until tomato season... garage door open, steam filtering into the air, Papa in that undershirt that's that soft shade of yellow... oh yea, now they'll know who "owns" the block!

    I love that Peter Rabbit (or a not so distant relative) is enjoying the vegetables of your labour. You can also call Wallace and Gromit (http://www.wallaceandgromit.com/) as they've been known to take care of the Curse of the Were Rabbit!

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    Replies
    1. Alas...this garage will never know what it is missing.
      Good thing we made those memories,'tis the basement that will not know what hit it!!

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