About a week ago, I told you about The Weird Gap Between Spring and Summer Harvests, when temperatures rise, lettuces and other spring offerings start to wane and taste weird, and the summer items are getting ready to come into their own. What I didn’t really do was mention anything about how to squeeze the last out of your spring harvest.
However, a fellow gardening blogger out in Long Island, NY recently experienced and wrote about this sad and frustrating aspects of gardening in Why is my salad so awful? | bunchofcilantro. So I’ll just point you in his direction for a detailed how-to on late spring lettuce resurrection.
In other news, Hubs and I (mostly me, lol) enjoyed the taste of our Swiss Chard so much that we wanted more. However, since patience is a virtue I am working on, I settled for regular Chard (known as ‘Mangold’ in Austria) from the foodstore. In my opinion, it’s not as pretty as the Rainbow Chard and, since I’ve always believed that more color diversity equals more mineral diversity, I don’t know if it’s as nutritious as my favorite – although any greens are bound to be full of iron and other trace minerals.
This batch of Chard had bigger, longer, older leaves than mine were, so I opted to make a warm salad with them. I know; what was I thinking?! Even my flowers were protesting the summer heat, but in my giddiness, I bought them before really thinking the process through, so suffer through the heat I must! Although it was really delicious – even Hubs agrees – I’ll be saving this recipe for Fall when the cooler temps will make working in a hot kitchen more enjoyable. Hopefully, our highbed residents (the bug life) will leave us enough leaves to harvest for salads that don’t require cooking. Just to be on the safe side, I popped a few more seeds in. I don’t know if they’ll germinate and grow but here’s hoping!
Warm Chard Salad with Tomato Herb Viniagrette
2 bunches of Chard, 1 Corn on the Cob, 1 large Sweet Pepper, 1 large Zucchini, 4 small Carrots, Tomato Herb Viniagrette, Olive Oil, Salt, Black Pepper
Make the viniagrette (recipe to follow) and wash all the veggies. Trim the ends of the chard stalks and set them in fresh cold water to dry and hydrate. Slice the zucchini at about a quarter inch thick and the sweet pepper in half. Slather the zucchini, sweet pepper, and corn in oil and salt. Roast/grill veggies until soft and set to cool. Do not burn or they will be bitter.
Strip chard of leaves and tear leaves to roughly about the size of your palm. (Stems can be chopped and also used but I opted to discard them in this dish.) Loosely place in a pan with half of the viniagrette. Do not pack into the pan, left-over chard can be added later. Toss chard with viniagrette, cover and allow to wilt under medium heat. Toss occassionally to ensure all chard is wilted – left-over chard can be added as space allows. Add extra olive oil, if needed. Once chard has wilted, remove from heat but keep covered. Roughly chop grilled veggies, shred carrots, and remove corn from cob. Add to warm chard and toss with remainder of viniagrette. Add extra salt and black pepper, if needed.
Tomato Herb Viniagrette
Mince two handfuls of Cherry Tomatoes, two cloves of Garlic, and a small Onion and place in a jar with lid. Add your favorite Herbs, Honey, pinch of Salt, Black Pepper, Hot Pepper, and Mustard to the jar. Add in Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil in a 1:2 part ratio to the jar. Cover and shake well. The longer this viniagrette sits, the better it gets.