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.


Ingredients:

Salad
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

Dressing
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.

3 comments:

Lo said...

Don't you just love the concentrated flavor of microgreens? And it's so much better when you've grown them yourself!

Joseph Shuffield said...

I just made this salad tonight, and it was wonderful. I accidentally forgot the red onion, and I used sliced almonds in place of the sunflower seeds, but it was still incredibly tasty. Thank you!

Otehlia said...

Glad to hear you liked the recipe, Joseph! Thanks for the comment.