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Salad Days

by Dietrich Bronner

NEW Farm Store Hours:  
Monday-Friday 12:30-5:30pm and 
Saturday 9am-4pm 
(Now open Monday and Tuesday)
8am-2pm Saturday Market with Music by Frankenmuth Credit Union
3-6pm Wednesday Markets
Debuting Saturday:  Cream of the Crops Ice Creams in the Farm Store freezer
Contact or 989-607-9214 to book events

  Mouthed about your Market:  “My favorite time of the year…super fresh food that I didn’t have to deal with a garden for!  Double bonus when it’s still cheaper than the sale price at the chain grocery store! (Which happens a lot actually!)”—Stephanie Ittner

  Salad days are here!  Spring’s starting crops are segueing into summer’s surplus as the solstice passed this Wednesday.  Days are already getting shorter now (so hurry up and grab that local food while it’s in season!), but the lengthier daylight we’ve had until now has been helping make up for the lag in crops this past cold spring.  
    The greens are the star of summer’s start.  Lush and luxurious lettuces are here to lavish you with amazing eats.  Last week’s column’s recipe suggested a sublime “steak” of Laurajeanne’s Kehn’s romaine lettuce, so good it would be a shame not to enjoy as such.  There are countless other salads you can salute your greenthumb growers with.  
  On days when you haven’t had a chance to get your 9-13 daily fruit and veggie servings before dinner, a super-sized hearty salad will fill the bill, based on ingredients healthier for your body and planet when compared with meat-centered meals.  
  A memorable salad offers lots of contrasts, hot elements mixed with cool greens, an array of crispy, crunchy, and creamy items, and varying sweet, bitter, sour, salty and savory components.  Think warm roasted potatoes with crunchy cabbage shreds and tender butter lettuce, or thyme-roasted carrot chunks and creamy navy beans with diced romaine.  Prepare extra potatoes, carrots, beans or other items to use beyond more than one dinner as leftovers to expedite your salad situation.  
    While you can go naked, there are several approaches to getting dressed.  (We are talking salad dressing, not clothing.)  The simplest is to sprinkle on salt, pepper, vinegar, and then oil over a salad and mix it up (or not).  Or simply try an amazing-tasting oil and some flaky salt.  For a more “proper” method, mix the salad ingredients in another container and then pour as needed.  A professional would tell you to whisk one part vinegar with salt, pepper, seasonings or herbs and a bit of mustard to help bind the dressing, and then slowly whisk in a stream of three parts oil until emulsified.  Some chefs suggest only two parts oil, but you can definitely get by with way less than that.  
  Try a salad made entirely of fresh herbs.  Add herbs to other salads, too, in both huge amounts or just in sprinkles.  Make a salad using no lettuce at all.  Your body will thank you for the change-up of added nutrition from less common vegetables.  Try one salad without any dressing.  With just a sprinkle of salt and pepper, you can appreciate all the different flavors of the ingredients as opposed to everything being coated in a dressing that makes the whole dish taste the same for every bite.  To round out your salad, shop the Farm Store for beef, chicken, fish, dried beans, cheese, fresh bread for croutons, and many more essential additions to keep things fresh and exciting.  
  For more cooking and recipe ideas using real food instead of packaged and processed food substitutes, sign up for email newsletters from the multitude available online:  Martha Stewart, Eater, Tasting Table to name just a few of the more modern-food-forward selections.  These daily or weekly tidbits of inspiration and encouragement most often focus, pleasantly surprisingly, on real whole foods with unprocessed ingredients, spinning them in unique ways that will get you excited about getting back to nature.   


(c) 2006 Frankenmuth News