A beautiful summer salad is something we could all afford to eat more regularly. Most people go to farmers markets and are excited to buy a collection of beautiful seasonal fruits and vegetables; but later at home, it is not always clear what to make with the cornucopia of items purchased. When in doubt, I say make a beautiful, bountiful, colorful, farm-fresh salad.
I like to toss my salad with a light, simple dressing that compliments the fresh, earthy farm-to-table flavors. My husband recently discovered how great a simple champagne vinaigrette can be. I could not agree more. It is a classic dressing, and a welcome change from the overused (and often poorly made) balsamic vinaigrette. My best advice with making your own salad dressing is flavor balance, adjust the seasoning to your liking. And when dressing the salad, less is always more. Overdressed salads are heavy and unappealing, and cause the greens to wilt. Dress a salad right before serving and toss it gently to incorporate and coat the fresh vegetables. Like my kale salad, this summer salad is a great and easy go-to for me each week.
The vegetables in this recipe came from a quaint local market near me, a small operation that began in 1992. Here I can find a wide variety of organic fruits and vegetables among other local treats from nearby farmers in the Central Valley, Half Moon Bay,and Watsonville. Buying my fruits and vegetables at this market supports these local farmers. And the local organization that organizes the market arranges for farmers to donate extra produce left over at the end of the event to organizations that feed the homeless. So this is a lovely salad and, if you can, buying the ingredients at a local farmers market like mine can support local farmers and local communities.
Farmers Market Salad
- For the Salad:
- 2 bunches fresh baby watercress, trimmed, cleaned and dried
- 5 red radishes, thinly sliced
- 6 hearts of palm, sliced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 small package edible flowers (optional)
- For the Dressing:
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup Champaign vinegar
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup Extra Virgin olive oi
- Step 1 For the Salad: Place the watercress on a large serving plate.
- Step 2 Arrange the radishes, hearts of palm and tomatoes on top and around the watercress.
- Step 3 Sprinkle the sliced red onion on top. Garnish with edible flowers.
- Step 4 For the Dressing: In a small bowl, add the mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, honey and salt. Whisk well to incorporate.
- Step 5 In a slow steady stream, add the olive oil while continuing to whisk.
- Step 6 Drizzle salad lightly with vinaigrette and serve right away.