Archive for the ‘Salad’ Category

Unless you’ve had your head under a rock lately, I bet you’ve heard about the farm to table philosophy of food.  Buzz words are farmer’s market, eating local, organic, carbon footprint, artesian methods, heirloom seeds, real food, seasonal harvest, urban gardens, CSA(community supported agriculture), responsible, sustainably grown…the list goes on.  There have been books and books written about the health, environmental, geo-political and economic benefits of the movement.  I’ll let the big dogs take on these issues.  My lil o’blog has this to say:  Do it because it tastes better.  Way better.  Healthier too – for both my family and the environment.  It’s how we like to roll at our house.

My husband grew up on a farm so we do get a giggle once in a while about all the hoopla.  Ummmm…isn’t this how everybody ate a generation or two ago?  It’s sad as a country we got so far away from our roots, but I am very happy the pendulum is finally swinging back and gaining momentum too.

My feelings on this whole topic solidified a few years back.  We spent a week in France at our wonderful friends Marc and LoLo’s Loire Valley estate which includes a vineyard and winery.  (In case you were wondering – one of the many examples as to why I call my blog “just pinch me”).  This is a picture of my friend Carrie and I with Lolo on the patio at her villa.

When we arrived at the villa Lolo served us the simplest, most amazing al fresco lunch on the patio.  She had visited the local farmer’s market that morning, grabbed some lettuce and baby tomatoes, fruit, bread and cheese.  She made a vinaigrette with olive oil, vinegar, salt & pepper and opened a bottle of their winery’s very own Chenin Blanc.

I could eat like this every single meal the rest of my life.  What a moment.

This year I got adventurous and planted a small herb garden on the patio.  I planted lots of arugula lettuce along with herbs like basil, italian parsley, oregano, rosemary, thyme, cilantro, tarragon, marjoram, dill and mint.  I wish I had planted much, much more lettuce – next year for sure.

We’ve had so much fun harvesting the arugula for salads, chopping up our farmer’s market seasonal vegetables, adding our fresh herbs and dressing the salad with a simple homemade vinaigrette.  Add some bread and cheese or grilled chicken or fish and you’ve got a memorable meal.

My two favorite summer salad dressings have already been posted on my blog.  Check out the white balsamic vinaigrette in my strawberry salad post or lemon dressing in my lemony orzo and spinach post.  Don’t know where to find a farmer’s market?  Check out the incredible website localharvest.org. to find one near you.  Please send me your comments – I’d love to know if I have inspired any Farmer’s Market visits.


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