Fresh Garden Salad & Goat Cheese Toast Recipe

Views: 82783 | Last Update: 2011-04-08
Harvesting fresh lettuce for a summer salad offers a satisfying crunch, as well as healthful nutrients and vitamins. Incorporate peas, radishes potatoes and green onions to brighten up a salad with helpful hints from an organic gardener in this free video on garden-to-table cooking. View Video Transcript

About this Author

Willi Galloway

Willi Evans Galloway loves to read, write, talk about, and teach people how to garden organically and grow their own food. For the past five years, she has worked as the West Coast Editor of Organic Gardening magazine. Willi also recently created, a site that serves up gardening and cooking inspiration. Willi lives in Seattle with her husband, four pet chickens, a lawn-destroying Labrador, and way too many tomato plants.

Video Transcript

Hi I'm John and I'm Willi and we live in Seattle where we grow most of what we eat. It's in our little back yard and so today we're going to show you how to make a meal from garden to table here on "Grill, Cook, Eat". Alright well I'm going to make us a big salad for lunch because there's a ton of stuff out in the garden that's ready to go. So I'm going to harvest some of that lettuce out there and then we have a bunch of Wolowski Onions that need to be thinned so I'm going to have scallions and some radishes and I thought maybe you could make those goat cheese toasts tonight. Yea I could handle that. Okay, cool. Well, I'm going to go out to the garden and get started harvesting. Right now I'm going to show you how to plant some lettuce from seed and I'm growing a variety called Nevada. It's a Botavian. The reason why I'm choosing to plant this now is that it's early Summer and lettuce is a cool season crop. It really does a lot better in cool weather and when you are direct sewing you just want to kind of sprinkle them as evenly as you can in a band on the soil. Lettuce actually needs a little bit of light to germinate so what I'm doing here is I'm just watering the seed and that helps it settle into the soil and then for really small seeds like this, I actually just want to sift a really fine layer of soil over the top and so I actually use potting mix because it's really light and I know there aren't any weed seeds in it. I just take a handful and just really lightly sift it over the top and I usually just go back through and gently pat the soil. This gives good seed to soil contact which aids with germination and then you want to go back over and whenever you are direct sewing no matter what kind of seed, it's really important to use a watering can. A hose has too strong of a stream of water and you can wash all your seeds into a big clump if you use a hose and then once the seedlings have germinated and they're about this big, I go ahead and dig up a clump of them with my trowel and just pull it up. I just pull the little lettuces apart and then replant them. You want to space them about six inches apart and then once you get it planted you just again want to water it in. You can harvest lettuce at any time. I'm actually going to harvest a whole head and the way you do that I think the best way is to take a knife and you slide it just below the soil line and cut the head of lettuce off the root separating it from the soil and then you want to make sure you leave any of the roots behind and you can go ahead and take it inside. Goat cheese toast by far is the best part of this meal. What you want to do is add two teaspoons of parsley to fresh Chevre Cheese. It's a milder cheese than your typical Feta and you can really use any herb you want but parsley is what we had growing in our garden today. Once you add it to the Chevre Cheese, you are just going to take a fork and mash away and make sure that you get a good mix and at the end of the day you want a good consistent cheese and parsley combination that you are simply going to spread over each piece of toast. The toast is just a simple baguette that we've sliced evenly and we spread the cheese on and put it on a baking sheet and we're going to put it in the oven which has already been preheated to 350 degrees and leave it in for about ten minutes until the cheese is puffed and golden. So, we can salad. I'm going to wash the lettuce and I'm just going to tear it into some bite size pieces. Then you want to take the lettuce and put it in a big bowl. I'm just going to slice the peas into little chunks and really in this salad, you can use whatever is in your garden. So go ahead and stick the peas in, slice up a couple of these radishes, just slice these into a few little chunks, okay. So, stick the radishes in and then for the potatoes and I like to add the potatoes in because it just makes the salad a little bit more substantial and it kind of gives them a little bit more of a French air and finally, some green onions. For the green onions, I'm just going to slice off the roots, the little root ends, set those aside for the composter and then just slice a little bit of the greens and kind of just sprinkle those around and for this salad today I'm just going to make a really simple lemon vinaigrette. It's kind of my go-to recipe. I'm going to zest half of a large lemon and it's usually, you know, about half of a teaspoon of lemon zest. So then I'm going to squeeze out two teaspoons of lemon juice and then I want to put in a half teaspoon of the white balsamic vinegar. If you don't have it, don't feel compelled to run out and buy some. You can also just use white wine vinegar. So the deal with vinaigrette is you want to have one part of the acid, so lemon juice or vinegar to three parts oil. So, I'm going to put in about three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, stir the olive oil into the vinegar and lemon juice in a steady stream and the goal here is you want to get a nice emulsified dressing. So now I'm just going to dress the salad. I'm going to pour it over the top, just drizzle it on and just want to give everything a nice toss so it's evenly coated. So we're just going to wait for the toast to come out of the oven. John put them in a little bit ago. They're not quite done. Then we'll plate this up and eat lunch. Alright, I'm just going to plate up the salad. Alright, I'm getting the toast. It does smell good. Let's eat, huh? I am excited about the salad. You are? Yea, it has my toast on the side of it. That's true. You are the toastmaster. I'm glad you know my title. So this is a great sort of lunch, entr?e style salad. It definitely goes great on a hot day like today with beer though. Yea, beer surprisingly goes pretty well with salad, I think, cheers. Alright, that was a good one. Oh thanks, you know I didn't use to like salad very much. But now that we grow our own lettuce, I think it's really good. Yea, you can't beat it fresh from the garden like that. It's so tender and good. Well, I hope you enjoyed this recipe here on "Grow, Cook, Eat". There's a lot of good stuff coming up because Summer is coming on and we're going to have tomatoes, peppers, Fava Beans. So, I hope you'll join us next time and if you have your own ideas for salads or other recipes, we'd love to hear them so please drop us a comment and tune in next time.