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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Random Food Fridays - Salad Days

It's the salad days of summer! Everything is fresh and delicious. I'm always especially fond of summer foods. It's my favorite time of year. Nothing beats those long Sacramento evenings, with the cool delta breezes and long shadows. Whether I'm on my bike, strolling the neighborhood, or just sitting on my porch, I love, love, LOVE it! Summer foods seem to be special and associated with time-limited pleasures. Maybe I'll feel that way about all seasonal foods, once I eat more seasonally around the calendar, but I think things like ripe apricots and cool sweet watermelon will always thrill me.

It seems like a lot of my Random Food Fridays offerings are quick and easy weeknight dinners. I like to cook, but not when I'm tired and starving. Also, have I mentioned we don't have a dishwasher? (She went away to college - Ba-dump-bump!) These kinds of meals don't make much mess. I do most of my food prep on Sunday afternoons, after the Farmer's Market, so they also come together almost instantly.

The above salad features romaine, an Asian pear, a nectarine, some chopped turkey, goat cheese, a few sliced toasted almonds and Trader Joe's Champagne Pear Vinaigrette. TJ's Champagne Pear Vinaigrette is great for salads that combine fruit with vegetables and other savory ingredients.
I often make marinated beets on Sunday and eat them throughout the week. I boil the beets, chop them roughly and combine them with balsamic vinaigrette and some sliced red onion. The skin of the beets doesn't bother me, so I leave it on. I understand that's where all the cool nutrients live. This salad blend was especially good. Along with the beets, I have sliced radishes, goat cheese and some of the best cherry tomatoes I've ever tasted. They were grown by my friend Paula, and think I will be growing this variety in my own little garden next year. I will let you all know the name of the variety once I find out.

Until we share a table again - eat your beets!

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