When I was in Turkey, I was eating vegetarian to settle my stomach from having eaten more meat in 1 week in Iran than I usually eat in 2 months. I am not complaining, the food was delicious, but my body had enough meat, so a switch to a vegetarian diet was what I needed. As part of that, I became a little obsessed with mediterranean salads, called Akdeniz salatasi in Turkish.
The surprising ingredient in them all was corn – not something I think of as mediterranean, but they tasted good in the salads so, why not? The salad at my hotel was my favorite. It had walnuts, sun-dried tomatoes, and a pesto vinaigrette, something I decided I definitely needed to recreate!
That salad also included other interesting, and tasty, ingredients such as sun-dried tomatoes and walnuts. I recreated the salad shortly after returning from Turkey. The combination of the vegetables, cheese and nuts made for a hearty salad, worthy of being a dinner in itself.
The directions below are for 1 dinner-sized salad. Adjust the quantities to our taste. To make more salads,simply multiply the quantity of ingredients.
We have been having so much rain here, I have not been getting out into the garden as often as I should, so weeding becomes a major activity on the weekend. The only good side is that the weeds are so big and the ground so soft, they are easy to pull.
Just as I am finishing the last of the food I prepared and froze last year, the garden is kicking into production. It wont be long before I start restocking that freezer. That is a good thing, since an empty freezer looks so sad and lonely.
This past weekend I pulled all the garlic bulbs, 45 in all. They are happily drying away in my garage. They are mostly beautiful; my only complaint was that they did not produce any garlic scapes. I fell in love with those last year, I loved putting them in my pestos and frittatas. I will have to resort to buying some at the farmers market this week.
I also harvest the rest of the kohlrabi. I may have let it get too big, I will see when I go to cook it. I also kept the kohlrabi greens; look for a recipe for kohlrabi greens coming up soon. 🙂
The first zucchini and green beans got picked, as well as some sugar snap peas and cucumbers. There were even some nice-sized broccoli from a second harvest! The swiss chard are growing nicely, waiting for me to cut them on the days I will cook with them, no ned to cut it just to store it. I also cut a bunch of basil to make some pesto to get us started for the year (ah, the first items in the freezer for 2013!).
The counter top is not yet filled with my produce, but the fridge is!
1/2 cup packed basil leaves (from the garden)
1 tbsp pine nuts
1/2 tsp minced garlic
Kosher salt and freshly ground back pepper, to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
touch of lemon juice
Romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces (from the garden)
1 – 2 ounces feta, cubed
2 sundried tomatoes, sliced (from the garden)
Handful of grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup cucumbers, sliced & quartered
5 – 6 walnut halves
2 – 3 Tbsp corn kernels
4 – 6 Kalamata olives, pitted
Grind basil, garlic, pine nuts, salt & pepper in a spice grinder. Stir in olive oil and a touch of lemon juice (if desired). Stir or shake until combined.
Place all vegetables in a bowl, distributing them evenly.
Sprinkle on dressing and place pita crisps around the outside. Enjoy!
Makes 1 salad, the ingredients can be multiplied to make more salads.