Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Zucchini summer salad

This type of grated salad (or a variation of it) has been a staple around here for a few weeks now.  Since our lettuce turned bitter our salads have looked a little different but are no less delicious! I love to have some kind of raw salad every day, and have been trying to incorporate as many garden vegetables into them as I can.  The idea of a grated salad may be new to you, but hopefully you will be pleasantly surprised at the flavour and texture! This salad is incredibly versatile and can be composed of any combination of your favourite veggies and herbs.  I have been trying to find uses for the large quantity of zucchini my garden has been yielding, so although there are many other ingredients in this salad, zucchini is the base.

1 tomato
1 small cucumber
2 small carrots, peeled
1 kolhrabi or broccoli stem, peeled
2-3 inches of a zucchini (about 1 cup)
2 green onions
Handful of basil
2 tbsp of favourite salad dressing (I use a homemade balsamic vinaigrette)

The green onions (not pictured) and carrots are the only item not from my garden. I'm not about to waste a perfectly good garden carrot on a salad! Those are for enjoying by themselves.

Chop the tomato, cucumber, green onion and basil. Grate the carrots, kolhrabi or broccoli stem and zucchini.

For the curious, this is what a kolhrabi looks like. 

Dump everything in a medium-sized bowl and drizzle with the dressing - add more to taste. 

Stir it up good. 

Serve with a sandwich or wrap. Or IN the wrap if you so desire.

Such a delicious and satisfying lunch - and healthy!

Jungle garden

My garden is quite literally a jungle.  Everything is just tangling into everything else and it's hard not to lose a zucchini or two in there!  I have really enjoyed going out and puttering in the garden. I try not to eat everything right off the vine and save some for the dinner table, but I'm only human and those cherry tomatoes are so tempting.  Here is a little walk-through what I've got growing. 

The peas did well, but they are pretty much done now.  We enjoyed them lots and so did Sophie. 

My beautiful lettuce! Oh how I miss you. For about a month I would pick lettuce every day sometimes twice a day, but the combination of hot weather and no rain made it go bitter. I tried to plant more but lettuce really likes cooler weather.  Too bad, the lettuce and I had a good run. 

Right now the tomatoes are just starting to ripen. The tomato bed is a literal jungle. Note to self: cage the tomato plants before they become so monstrous that you can't do anything with them. 

 Aren't they pretty?

Beets. I definitely want to plant more of these babies next year.  We served some to some friends and one asked if there was any sugar added.  They're that good!

The hot peppers are definitely bountiful and I am looking for ways to preserve them for future spiciness...

Kohlrabi was a new one for me.  We are enjoying them just raw, peeled and sliced  or grated into a salad. 

Patty pan squash is another new one. Look for a post in the near future about my squashy experiments!

Basil, basil and more basil. Pesto?

Zucchini jungle. We have had about 5-6 big zucchinis so far and they have all found very good homes in the form of barbecue and chocolate cake. 

Carrots are one vegetable that when they are picked from the garden taste NOTHING like their commercial counterparts.  The flavour is just amazing. Definitely planting more next year. 

Here is one cucumber plant that is trying to escape! 

 I LOVE cucumbers fresh from the garden. 

 Groundcherry. It's like a sweet tomato in a papery husk. Often used as a garnish, but delicious just as a fruit. The best part about this plant is that it is perennial, or should grow back every year.  

 Thanks for sticking around to the bitter end of my jungle garden tour :)  I'm trying to keep good photo documentation of my green thumb efforts. Hopefully next year I can look back and remember what grew well and when.
Stay tuned for some recipes straight from my tangled garden!