Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Spinach, Strawberry and Goat Cheese salad with Microgreens and Balsamic Vinaigrette
I think I blinked and missed the transition from winter to spring. Or maybe it's that I'm getting older and everything seems to move faster. All of the sudden once-tiny plants are knee-high. They have erupted into bloom, with shouts of purple, red and orange heralding each day, and verdant greens and sunkissed yellows signing off each night.
Wasn't it just winter? Wasn't I just checking each branch of the trees I planted last year for signs of life? Now the flowers have dropped from my cherry tree, and I am anxiously awaiting the impending tart cherries--and of course, the resultant cherry crisps, lusciously draped in vanilla ice cream.
The small cotyledons of the greens I planted have leafed out, thanks in part to the fencing I put up this year (the rabbit salad buffet has gone out of business!). I never label the rows when I plant. It's sort of like being pregnant and leaving the baby's sex a surprise--I like finding out what I planted as the plants grow.
Awesome! I planted parsley! Just when I was thinking about going to the store for some, I checked my rows of greens, and spied the tell-tale fringed leaf. The thinnings were perfect for my couscous salad.
Yes! I knew I planted some lettuce. Thankfully I didn't plant three rows of kale instead. One row of kale--is that the lancinato kale?--will do. Oh! I forgot about the sunflowers I hastily stuck in the ground, which are shamelessly exposing what nature gave them--broad green leaves, firm and rippled with veins.
Aw, snap! The peas are up. Sweet! I planted five rows, are those sugar snap or golden? Golden there, and sugar snap here...I think. Who cares, really?
I can't blink now because it's time to put green beans in the ground, and maybe some pickling cucumbers. And I don't want to miss a bit of summer. Meanwhile, I'll make my favorite spring-summer salad--Spinach, Strawberry and Goat Cheese salad with Microgreens and Balsamic Vinaigrette.
2 large handfuls of spinach, washed and tough stems removed
1 large handful of thinned greens, or baby greens, or arugula
2-3 tbsp toasted and salted sunflower seeds
2 tbsp finely chopped red onion
5 large organic strawberries, sliced
4 tbsp crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan or asiago
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic and red wine vinegar, mixed to taste
squeeze fresh orange juice
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar or maple syrup
Shake dressing well and dress salad on plates.