On Saturday, I listened to a radio comedian bemoaning his plight as a married man and being persuaded by his wife to get up early to shop at a farmers’ market.
Her assertion that it would be fun caused him to roll his eyes, and he joked about leaving his buddies just before they headed to the bar on a Friday night, so that he could get up bright and early on Saturday to go shopping at the market with his wife.
He got a lot of laughs, no doubt some of them from men who feel the same way he does.
However, what I observe tells me that there are a lot of males who do consider it fun to look for the freshest and most interesting finds at the farmers’ market. I often see men who are clearly enjoying themselves at the market on Saturday mornings.
It would not surprise me to hear that some of those men were among the early birds who went home with fresh local greens last weekend. I have been remembering when vendors started bringing in greens in previous years and expecting them to appear for sale soon. I was right: there were some for sale last weekend, but I slept too late, and they were long gone by the time I arrived.
I’ll get up earlier next Saturday, but for this week, I’ll have to satisfy the salad craving by using winter vegetables or imported ones.
I discovered that the lemon-glazed carrots recipe I have been demonstrating at cooking classes is good served cold as a salad. Here is the recipe. Serve it hot as a side dish, or try it cold or at room temperature as a salad, and see if you agree with me. Be sure to just cook the carrots until crisp tender.
Adapted from Younker, Katherine E.(editor): Complete Canadian Diabetes Cookbook, Robert Rose Inc., Toronto, 2005.
500 g (1 lb) carrots, peeled and cut into sticks 0.5 - 1 cm (¼ -½ inch) square and 5 - 7.5 cm (2 - 3 inches) long
15 mL (1 tbsp) butter
15 mL (1 tbsp) brown sugar
15 mL (1 tbsp) lemon juice
2 mL (½ tsp) grated lemon rind
1 mL (¼ tsp) salt (optional)
ground black pepper to taste
15 mL (1 tbsp) finely chopped fresh parsley or chives, to garnish
In a medium saucepan, cook carrots in about 2.5 cm (1 inch) of boiling water for about 5 minutes (start timing when water returns to a boil), until tender-crisp; drain and return to saucepan.
Add butter, brown sugar, lemon juice and rind, optional salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, 3-5 minutes or until liquid has evaporated and carrots are nicely glazed.
Sprinkle with parsley or chives, and serve.
This may be chilled and served as a salad.
Spinach salad is often served with poppy seed dressing, but this one is dressed with a mixture based on orange juice and balsamic vinegar. Substitute pumpkin seeds or sliced almonds for the sunflower seeds if desired.
Sunny Spinach Salad
300 g (10 oz) fresh spinach
50 mL (¼ cup) sunflower seeds
15 mL (1 tbsp) olive oil
25 mL (2 tbsp) frozen orange juice concentrate, defrosted and undiluted
25 mL (2 tbsp) balsamic vinegar
Wash spinach, spin dry, and cut into bite-sized pieces, removing large veins. Peel oranges, and cut into thin slices. Place spinach, orange slices, and sunflower seeds into a salad bowl.
To make dressing, spoon olive oil, orange juice concentrate and balsamic vinegar into a small jar with tight-fitting cover, and shake well. Drizzle over salad, and toss just before serving.
Makes 4 servings
I have a bundle of parsley left from another project, and so this week might be a good time to make some Taboulleh, a Lebanese-style salad based on cracked wheat (bulgur) and herbs. Here is my version.
250 mL (1 cup) bulgur
300 mL (1 1/4 cup) boiling water
25 mL (2 tbsp) olive oil
25 mL (2 tbsp) lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 mL (1/2 tsp) salt
2 mL (1/2 tsp) ground black pepper
125 mL (1/2 cup) chopped green onions
250 mL (1 cup) finely chopped fresh parsley
25 mL (2 tbsp) finely chopped fresh mint
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
Pour boiling water over bulgur, and let stand for 30 minutes. Squeeze in a sieve to remove excess water, and spread on paper toweling or a clean tea towel to dry while preparing other ingredients.
To prepare dressing, place olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, salt and pepper in a small bottle and taste. Set aside.
Toss bulgur, onion, parsley and mint together in a salad bowl, drizzle with dressing, and stir to combine.
Refrigerate to allow flavours to blend.
Add chopped tomato just before serving. Serve at room temperature.
Makes 10 servings
I’ll be demonstrating this taboulleh recipe and others at a free Go!PEI class on Healthy Cooking with Grains in Murray Harbour on Friday, March 8, and there will be a salad recipe included in the package for the Cooking with Spices class for a Montague seniors’ group on Tuesday, March 12.
Margaret Prouse, a home economist, can be reached by writing her at RR#2, North Wiltshire, P.E.I., C0A 1Y0, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.