Summer Salads! Yes, you can!

Maybe the weather has been helping us along.  (It has.)   Or maybe the little sprinklers we fitted into the drip irrigation help keep the temps cooler and the bugs at bay. (Which they do.)  Or maybe the sunflowers we planted here and there for shade are doing their job.   Whatever the case, this year’s garden is still bringing us fresh sweet salad fixins. I added a little cranberry goat cheese and some fresh berries, topped with just a splash of orange basalmic.  What a treat!

Beautiful summer salad!

Or maybe we’ve been lucky in finding some lettuce varieties that are more Texas friendly.  🙂

This particular salad has a mix of sweet buttercrunch and red rubin lettuces, golden acre cabbage, sweet pickle peppers, heirloom tomatoes, four colors of carrots and a Flavor Burst bell pepper.  We’ll put together a few special salad baskets for market this weekend, so you won’t even have to work hard to gather a nice selection .  But, of course, you could always switch up a little:

Add some red cabbage or kohlrabi slices, perhaps. Sweet salad turnips or cooked, sliced beets.  There are lots of possibilities this week!   Some of the spring veggies really are reaching an end, though, and won’t come back until fall weather cools us down again, so this is the time to think ‘variety’.

Extra special this week, but in short supply until the plants go into real production, are the first of our heirloom tomatoes:

Cherokee Purple, Black Krim and Black from Tula.  One taste and you’ll know why we wait so impatiently for these.

Fresh okra:  Texas Hill Country Red, Burgundy and a little green gem:  Stewart’s Zeebest. Ask for the recipe for Cheese Stuffed Bacon Okra Poppers.

Japanese Fengyuan Purple Eggplant.  This is a long, thin eggplant with mild flavor and a thin, non-bitter skin that does not require peeling.  Great for grilling and stir-fries,  as well as old standby dishes  like ratatouille.

What else?

Swiss Chard

Purple Viking Potatoes

Gourmet Fingerling Potato, mixed basket (French, LaRatte, Rose Finn & Purple Peruvian)

Kale – Red Russian and Dutch Curly Blue

New Zealand spinach

Bell Peppers – Flavor Burst, Purple, Green

Sweet Pickle peppers (sweet little gems look like they should be hot, but they’re not.)

Hatch (type) chili peppers.  The same mild variety grown near Hatch, New Mexico.  Roasting brings out the flavor.

Texas sweet and red onions

Butternut squash

Fresh Herbs –  basil (small leaf, purple frill, and vanilla);  mints (spearmint, chocolate mint); cilantro

If we’re lucky, a few pints of fresh picked wild blackberries.  They’re plump and delicious this year!

And, I almost forgot!  The Kaufman family will be here with local (Athens!) PURE RAW HONEY!  Cheyenne keeps her hive at Gopher Knoll and I can tell you the bees have been busy this spring!

The weather may be warm, but the veggies are always fresh!   See you Saturday!