Saturday at the farmers market saw sunny weather, but blustery wind more like the winter we never saw than the day before Spring. A stew of chorizo was scheduled, but try as I might, no flame would hold under the morning's gusts. Clearly, the weather did not get the memo, so a change of plans was called for. Luckily, with the available bounty of fresh fruits, herbs, and vegetables from market farmers, as well as prepared foods from local vendors, I was able to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak-- I made 3 quick and delicious salad dressings that you can duplicate at home with minimal fuss, and dressed just about the prettiest, colorful salad you'll see all year round. Spring has sprung at the market and look how lovely she's decorated our plate!
Eating a rainbow of foods is a big plus on the healthy scale, but do you know why eating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables is good for you? Consuming different color foods plays a role in insuring you are getting enough essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and more. Eating this way can help to protect against many potential body ailments and chronic diseases such as illnesses like the flu, cancers, digestive issues, declining vision, loss of bone density, and can even help with weight management. Besides, your mood will most likely be lifted when your plate is full of a variety of visually appealing bright colors versus covered in a dull, white, and plain blandness. Brighten up your plate and you will brighten up your health! --One Green PlanetBelow, find the ingredients we used for this particular salad, and the dressings created, but don't be limited by these suggestions. Springtime is the BEST season of the growing year for salad ingredients, and I hope you'll find inspiration for your own home-prepared salads beyond the lettuce/tomato/cucumber/ranch combo found on dinner tables all over the countryside. Not that there's too much wrong with that--I love it, too. But it can be so much more! You can have new and different combinations, quickly, every day of the week. I encourage you to consult this post as more of a jumping off point, than and exact and definite recipe. Find the freshest, most wholesome peak-of-season ingredients at YOUR market and see how they nourish both your body spirit.
After the recipes, please find the Texas Farmers' Market vendor sources.
Eat the Rainbow Salad
Mixed Greens, including arugula
Red carrots, sliced
Purple cabbage, shredded
Mint, ½ bunch, leaves chopped
Parsley, flat-leaf, ½ bunch, leaves chopped
Fennel, small bulb, shaved
The ingredients for each dressing prepared were sourced from Texas Farmers’ Market farmers and vendors. Each dressing can be prepared simply—whisk together ingredients in a mixing bowl, or shake them together in a large covered jar, allow flavors to marry about 30 minutes, then dress any salad of your choice. Dressing will keep several days, refrigerated.
Pesto and Feta Cheese
4 oz prepared pesto
4 oz oil-marinated feta
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 small bulb young garlic, peeled, minced
Salt, as needed
1 8oz container maple-flavored yogurt
1tsp curry powder, to taste
1tsp honey, to taste
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1T fresh mint, minced (optional)
Dash of sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
½ pint strawberries, sliced
1T strawberry jam
1T fennel frond, minced
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup Balsamic vinegar
Freshly-ground black pepper, sea salt, to taste
Texas Farmers' Market farmer and vendor resources:
Bernhardts Farm: strawberries and pesto
Brazos Valley Cheese: oil-marinated feta cheese
Texas Hill Country Olive Company: vinegar and oil
Tecolote Farm: green garlic
Mother Culture: yogurt
Austin Honey Company: honey
Stellar Gourmet Foods: strawberry moscato jam
Later this week, find the recipe for for another dish prepared over the weekend for the Texas Farmers' Market Mueller: Portuguese Migas prepared with Belle Vie Farm's newest charcuterie-- chorizo, a full-flavored robustly seasoned pork sausage sure to become another customer favorite.
Learn more about our local farmers markets, including day and hours of operation and location by visiting my 2016 #ATXBestEats city guide, On the Grow | Austin's Farmers Markets.