Monday, April 19, 2010

Salads now, pie later

If anyone has a legitimate reason why he/she is not able to grow and harvest fresh lettuce, I'd really like to hear it!! Potager tenders, people in partial shade, and balcony gardeners alike are all beginning to enjoy spring lettuce right about now. Store-bought simply does not compare to walking out back with scissors and mixing bowl in hand, and dinner ready in minutes.

My favorite salad involves a grilled steak and blue cheese, but since I'm still (barely) in the running for the office Biggest Loser contest, tonight I'll just have some greens, chicken, and a light and citrusy salad dressing my sister made once that is to die for. It comes (simplified) from The Joy of Cooking.

Tangerine Shallot Dressing

1 clove garlic, finely minced
2-3 pinches of salt
1/4 cup fresh tangerine or clementine juice
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 small shallots, minced
2/3 cup vegetable oil

...And if I eat a bunch of salads now, come end of May, I will have won the Biggest Loser contest, and will have earned at least a little bit of pie. Can you guess what kind??!!!


  1. Wow..yum..Lovely sounds absolutely deliscious.!! Have a happy day!

  2. Hi Wendy, From your photo, you must have been working on being the 'biggest loser' for some time, because you look mighty thin to me;-) And YES! This is the first year that I am actually growing lettuce! In pots, on my deck. Head lettuce--2 varieties. And, mesclun.(sp?). It's coming up, too! And, my radish seedlings popped up so fast I couldn't believe it! And I have a strawberry plant, too;-) Also, some other veggies and a variety of herbs. I thought it was time to give it a try. Perhaps I'm a little behind because mine isn't close enough to even think about cutting...but if it doesn't get too hot too quickly, I think I'll have some luck!

  3. Strawberry...Yes.

    Biggest Loser...Really??

    The dressing sounds great. Will have to try it.

  4. Wish I could grow lettuce - but somehow in my region where its humid but lacking sunlight - most of the vegetable turn lime green and become leggy.
    Worst when they get easily infected with whiteflies & mealybugs.

    Regardless - good luck in your Biggest Loser in your workplace.

  5. Your 'instant' food here is real healthy stuff!

  6. Strawberry pie, mmm... hope you win your contest. But even if not, make sure to eat some strawberry pie in season. It's not right to let that brief window of sweet goodness go by without it. :)

    That dressing recipe sounds delicious. It doesn't hurt that I adore shallots *and* tangerines. ;)

  7. Strawberry-Rhubarb... send me a piece, Wendy. I'll celebrate YOUR win and ignore my infamous likely biggest GAINER. From your photos I'm incredulous as to your need to be in this contest but we're all our own worst critic...

    The salad dressing sounds delish too.

  8. Nice dressing! I would love to have this dressing in my salad.

    Well, I do not have a vege garden... I kept growing more and more ornamentals... not going to give up those important space for vege... he he...

  9. Congratulations for the Win!

    As much as i would like to have lettuce in the office windowsill without a ledge and only morning sun, it is very difficult because nobody will water them when i am not around. You should have a contest for having the best reason here, haha! So i only have the short varieties of Sansevieria instead to give me freshly minted Oxygen in the office. By the way, i am the only employee with a garden inside.

  10. Waiting for my raised bed to be finished and then I get to put in the lettuce I just bought. I also have seeds but I bought some for that instant gratification I will have in a couple of weeks. You are right though, nothing better than fresh salad.

  11. That dressing sounds delicious. I'll have to keep it in mind for when my tangerines ripen in December. No need to wait until winter for the strawberry-rhubarb pie, though. Post pictures!

  12. Totally agree home grown salad is so much 'tastier' than supermarket bought. I love the dressing, will have to try it for sure.

    Mmmm home grown strawberries Yum! Just enjoy au naturale!

  13. That steak/blue cheese salad does sound yummy! I should no better than to check your blog in mid-afternoon when I am at my lowest ebb. As for strawberry rhubarb pie, I made one a couple of weeks ago. When it came out of the oven, I stuck my head down and took a big sniff. It smelled just like summer.

  14. Thanks for the recipe! I'm going to try growing some mesclun myself this year. Happy Earth Day!

  15. Oh I tried to grow a garden but gosh SF weather is just horrible this year. We've been having regular thunderstorms. The gutsy wind and cold weather is just not suitable to grow anything. I'm so tempted to invest in a green house and set it up in my backyard just so I can grow vegies!

  16. Fun post! We're at the same stage of the garden - and are eating a salad with every meal now. Thanks for the dressing recipe, my girls will appreciate a change of pace, and anything that can use "cuties" will please them.

  17. Hi Wendy, yummy sounding salad dressing. I have no reason and no excuse for not growing lettuce - lack of confidence? I really want to but somehow am never motivated to get round to trying it. cheers, catmint

  18. We have had several straight rhubarb pies already. Don't know why I have never combined it with strawberries. Now I will!

  19. Hi Wendy - just found your blog through Meredith in SC, and the post did not disappoint. I love the standing at the garden with scissors moment, too. I planted my greens WAY late this year - they're less than 1 inch tall - but there will be salad. Can't wait to hear about that pie - love the pictoral clues as to the flavor. YUM.


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