I never thought a salad would be THE HIT of my Thanksgiving table. Never. It’s just a bunch a lettuce for goodness sake! This salad had my guests moaning and groaning like they had never had a salad before!
Well, this isn’t just any salad. Remember my little winter garden I started? Those little lettuce plants have blossomed into my own organic farm. Yes, I am being dramatic, as I have three tiny rows of lettuce and one row of beets, but it’s a start! I really enjoy walking out of my door, and picking greens ten minutes before my family eats them. The 4 year old loves for me to wash a few leaves and just hand them to her. . . nothing additional needed.
I also have my neighbors organic persimmon tree to raid. My food blogger friend Greg recently made a Fuyu Persimmon Salad with Arugula and Pomegranate, which sounded so delicious. I hadn’t thought of using the fruit in a salad before. I have made Persimmon Cookies and Persimmon Ice Cream, but never a salad.
His salad inspired me in my choice of flavors for my salad, but I promised him I wouldn’t copy him. Well, I did use pomegranate too. . .
The other influencing factor in this salad coming into being is a sample of Honey Ridge Farms Spiced Honey Creme I recently received. This honey is outrageous! Cinnamon, a hint of clove and anise, sweet honey. Wow! I actually had to cut my mother off from the honey so I would have enough to test and make the recipe! Last night I had some drizzled onto warm, crumbled, buttered cornbread, which I then ate with a spoon. So good.
I knew this honey would pair really well with the persimmon. I decided to add a shot of sriracha sauce to balance all of the sweetness of the fruit. Sriracha, also known as Rooster sauce because of the rooster on the label, is a potently hot sauce with a lot of flavor. A hot sauce with only heat is no good. You want a hot sauce with flavor too.
This vinaigrette will go well with plain salad greens, arugula, or even drizzled over fruit only. The spices in the honey hit your tongue, then a bit of acid from the vinegar, and the sriracha adds a very subtle hit of heat right at the finish. A nicely balanced dressing that is a breeze to make.
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Place the salad greens onto a large serving platter or in a large bowl. Arrange the sliced persimmon and pear on top. Sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds.
Combine the white balsamic vinegar, honey creme, sriracha sauce and salt in a small bowl. Whisk the ingredients, until the honey and salt are dissolved completely.While whisking, slowly drizzle the olive oil into the bowl, until the dressing is slightly thickened and emulsified. Immediately pour the desired amount of dressing onto the salad and serve.Refrigerate any unused dressing in a sealed container.
Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: Total time: 10 mins Yield: 10 cups salad and 1 1/3 cups dressing
Yes, I am at it again. After a small (very small) success with my first ever summer garden, I have planted a lovely, little winter garden.
Not very ambitious, just some lettuces and one row of beets.
I do not like beets. Nope, do not like them at all. But both my mother and my daughter love them, so for them I planted beets. I will harvest them with love, cook them with love and serve them with love! And they better eat them. . . whether they love them or not!
Luckily we all love salad, so I planted Romaine, Bibb and Red Oak Leaf lettuce. Though it appears that something has already been nibbling on my romaine. Good thing I have Cece the garden watch cat!
No rabbits or gophers allowed!
Actually, part 1 may be the only part of the series. We’ll see.
Anyhoo, I planted a garden in my backyard, which has never had a garden in it before. One of the reasons for this is that my backyard is almost completely shaded by huge ancient oak trees, that are at least a hundred years old. Probably closer to two hundred. And protected by the City of Pasadena, which means they will not be cut down, ever. And I would not want them to be, because they are so beautiful. So full of life, from dozens of species of spiders (ugh) to multiple types of birds and feisty squirrels that fuss at the cats when they come outside.
The other reason is that my backyard also has many, many huge boulders, left over from the glacier that made the Pasadena arroyo thousands of years ago. Boulders and shade made for a cool looking backyard, but not real hospitable to a garden.
There was one corner of the yard that got a decent amount of sun, but my father had put his shed there. My dad has been gone for many years now, and when I moved back in with my mom I realized the shed wasn’t doing anything but giving shelter to many of those spider species found in the yard. Including black widows. Eeeeeeek!
With the shed gone, I finally decided it was time to try to grow a garden. I got organic vegetable food, compost and soil. I bought zucchini, cucumber, honeydew melon and watermelon plants. I would have gotten more, but my little garden only measures about 6 feet by 6 feet. For a starter garden, that’s big enough. And I still did not know if I would actually get enough sun to nurture my plants.
As it turns out, that little spot is perfect for the garden. There is enough sun, and the partial shading protects the plants from the harsh summer sun we have here in Southern California.
My first cucumber! It’s only about 4 inches, but growing fast!
See the baby cucumbers under the flowers? So cute! (yes, I am a city gal yearning to be a country gal, which is why I describe a cucumber as cute)
Check out this bad boy. All nubby and prickly. . . sounds like someone I know.
My zucchini plants are loaded with flowers, soon to be an overabundance of squash. Zucchini bread, zucchini cake, pickled zucchini, quiche with zucchini. . . wonder if I can make a zucchini cocktail?