Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Winter salads

It's quiet in the garden at the moment.  There are only a few flowers...

A very pretty salvia that seems to flower all the time
 We have been busy cutting wood.  Never too young to learn how to wield a splitter....
We had to hurry before the rain came...

I made a really good crunchy chopped green salad the other day.  There is so much lettuce and celery in the garden I feel obliged to use it.  The salad veg seems to be happy in the winter even though it isn't a salady time.  More lettuce/celery concoctions will follow.  I shredded lettuce, any sort, celery, fennel, and any other green things I could find in the fridge, a bit of cucumber, some finely sliced broccoli and half an avocado from memory.  Make a dressing:  (this is based on one from smitten kitchen
1/2  cup buttermilk
1 tblsp good mayonnaise
1 tblsp apple cider vinegar
1tblsp verjuice
1 teasp sugar
1 tblsp chopped chives
salt and pepper
Add or subtract any ingredients to taste.  Toss in a bowl with the dressing and finish with some toasted flaked almonds.
The other thing I've been experimenting with is farro.  The one I use is from Mount Zero, which is near the Grampians, not far from us.  Farro is a grain that is similar to brown rice but with more nuttiness and a bit less stodge. It can be used in the same fashion as rice, lentils or couscous, in salads, soups and risottos.   I went for a warm vegetable salad.  First  toast the farro in  a pan over a medium heat, which was the recommendation on the back of the packet.  Be careful not to burn it.  
Put it in a saucepan, cover with water and simmer for 20 minutes or until it is soft.  Choose any vegetables you like,  I had a haul  from the garden...
Chop them, drizzle with olive oil, season and roast for 20 minutes in a hot oven (about 200), more if you like them a bit crispy.
Mix the vegetables and farro in a big bowl and dress with olive oil, lemon juice, a good dash of vinocotto and salt and pepper.
These salads are great on their own, but would also go well with these tasty little lamb ribs...
These were blanched in boiling water then marinated in:
1 tbslp olive oil
1 tblsp dijon mustard
1 teasp malt vinegar
2 tblsp tomato sauce (homemade)
1 teasp maple syrup
1 tblsp dried oregano
Leave them for a few hours and either barbeque or roast in a hot oven until nicely browned.

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