Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Arugula and Baby Romaine

I love this time of year when I'm able to wander out to my garden and pick stuff for dinner!  Tonight it was baby romaine and arugula.  This brand of baby romaine is called Little Gem and it is beautiful!  Take a look.

I've waited to thin the heads until they are big enough so I can use the thinnings in a salad rather than having to discard them like it do the beets (which I hate doing).  And it has worked great.  I get to eat it rather than compost it and that's always better :)

Tonight's salad was another creation of What do I have?  
 Here is what I had:

A beautiful bunch of baby romaine

Another bunch of arugula

It's not baby arugula anymore which means it's real peppery and spicy, which I like :)  The bugs are kind of getting to it because I don't spray it with anything.  I just pick the little critters off as I see them and wash the arugula real well.  Never had a problem with a bug in my salad :)

A couple of baby beets that I roasted last week. 

These were left over from the Farmer's Market bounty my husband and I brought home a week or so ago.

A tart green apple

A wedge of delicious, locally made blue cheese 

Blue cheese is one of those foods you either love it or you hate it.  My husband and I love it!  We bought this cheese at the Pearl Farmer's Market about 10 days ago and it is delicious.  It's made by Humble House, a local company that makes fabulous cheeses and different types of spreads. 

And some fresh chives from my herb garden

And my favorite extra virgin olive oil
 All these fresh ingredients came together beautifully. 

I thinly sliced the apples and fanned them out on a serving plate.

Next I arranged the washed baby romaine and arugula.  The greens were topped with a crumbling of blue cheese, the diced roasted beets, some snipped chives and I finished it with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and freshly grated black pepper.

I can't tell you how good this salad was!  Yes, there are a lot of strong flavors here but they work very well together:  the tangy blue cheese, the tart apple, the spicy arugula, the earthy beet, all brought together with the slightly peppery and tasty olive oil.  My wonderful hubby loved it too :)  Needless to say, this salad may become a summer staple at our house.

Buon Appetito!


  1. I am a newbie to growing lettuce from seed and I need to thin mine out but I think I will wait a bit more until I can use it n a salad! Very logical! We had the tuna walnut pasta last night and it was great! Thanks again!

  2. Lettuce is one of the easiest things to grow! The trick is to eat it all before the heat gets it and it bolts! I'm glad you liked the tuna/walnut pasta Kelsey :) Pretty easy, huh?!

  3. Diane, can I please come round to your house for Dinner some time? I love your inventiveness with ingredients. You would do well on a TV programme we have here called "Ready, Steady, Cook" where the contestants have to invent dishes with a set on ingredients chosen by someone else. And that salad of yours is, as they say "To die for". I am a great fan of cheese, especially blue cheese. Oh, and beetroot (beets).

  4. Mark, you made me smile :) Thank you!

    And Yes! If you are *ever* in this part of the world, you surely have a place at my dinner table! Your TV programme sounds like a lot of fun :) When I was raising my sons as a single parent, I got *very* good at making meals out of what I had, which was usually very little. That skill has carried over to this stage in my life. I'm happy you enjoy my recipe basics, because that's what they are...basic techniques for one to run with! So good to hear from you!

  5. That's it!!! I can't take it anymore! I'm coming over!!! That salad looks delish!! I can hardly wait to eat my own beets and carrots. Actually, I'd rather eat yours! :o)

  6. OK, so now we will all be over in a couple of days for a freshly prepared feast at Diane's place! Everything you fix looks simply delicious!

  7. TS... Come on over! There is *always* a place at my table for you :) This salad is easy to recreate with ingredients you have on hand. Plz let me know when you make this salad with stuff from *your* garden!

  8. Oh Beth... You are so sweet :) and yes, you are always welcome at my home too! Seriously :) Any time! This is what I do: I garden and I cook and I feed people. And I simply L.O.V.E it. I love sharing what I grow and what I know :) thank you all for your interest :)

  9. Looks like it's going to be a big dinner party, with all us volunteers... :D

  10. That works for me...the more the merrier, Mark :)